- Associated Press - Thursday, January 30, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina still faces icy conditions, with dangerous roads in much of the state as bone-chilling temperatures overnight refroze any snow that had melted.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for most of the state on Thursday. Morning temperatures ranged from minus-4 degrees in Asheville and Reidsville to 32 degrees at Kill Devil Hills.

As temperatures in many areas finally crept above freezing during the afternoon, forecasters warned that melting snow on roadways would likely refreeze into black ice after dark.

Praising how the state residents have weathered this week’s cold snap thus far, Gov. Pat McCrory urged those on the roads to continue to exercise caution even as conditions improved.

“It doesn’t matter how experienced you are as a driver, no one can safely drive on black ice,” McCrory said Thursday. “Now is not the time to be stupid.”

Two people died Wednesday in separate traffic accidents in Surry County.

A truck driver died early Thursday morning when he lost control of his big rig on Interstate 40 in Burke County. State Highway Patrol spokesman 1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon said the road was clear and dry when the wreck occurred before 7 a.m. and it did not appear weather was a factor. Another person sleeping in the cab of the truck survived and was taken to the hospital.

Otherwise, Gordon said, the morning rush went without the major accidents that sometimes occur during icy conditions.

“People appear to have heeded the warnings to stay off the roads,” Gordon said.

Crews statewide continued to spread salt, sand and brine on major highways. However, the state does not have the resources to reach and treat all secondary roads.

The N.C. Department of Transportation urged state residents to stay home, if possible. Those driving were urged to take it slow and leave extra stopping distance between themselves and other vehicles.

Many schools remained closed, with major systems in Mecklenburg and Wake counties shut down for a second day after a winter storm dumped up to six inches of snow in some areas.

Duke Energy reported nearly 3,000 customers without service early Thursday in the western part of the state. The biggest problem is in Stanly County, where nearly 1,000 customers are without service.

The company says about 1,500 customers are without service in the eastern part of the state previously served by Progress Energy.

Dominion Electric reports only about 100 customers without service in northeastern North Carolina.

In Raleigh, fire crews battled a pre-dawn blaze while dealing with temperatures in the single digits as flames engulfed a large home. No injuries were reported.

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