The worst has passed, but hundreds of thousands of people in the South will have to deal with the effects of Winter Storm Diego the rest of the week.
The system dumped freezing rain and huge amounts of snow across portions of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia over the weekend, and travel troubles will continue as more ice and snow accumulated through Monday.
Unfortunately, at least three people including a truck driver have died so far in North Carolina as a result of the snowstorm. Keith Vestal, Yadkin County Emergency Services Director, told the Charlotte Observer that the driver got stuck along I-77 during the height of the storm on Sunday and was shoveling out. This happened about halfway between Boone and Greensboro. Shortly after shoveling, the man experienced chest pain, was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. The man’s name hasn’t been released to the public as of this afternoon, but Vestal said that he considered it a storm-related death since the driver died of an apparent heart attack.
According to an Asheville Citizen Times report, one of the other two people who died was a terminally ill woman in Haywood County who passed away when her oxygen was cut off after the power went out in her home. She was under hospice care there. Also, in Mecklenburg County, a man died when a tree fell on him, according to North Carolina Emergency Management officials.
The North Carolina Department of Emergency Management and the State Highway Patrol tweeted Monday that they’d responded to several hundred collisions because of Diego, and more than 1,500 calls for service related to the storm. Officials are urging people to stay off the roads as much as possible not just for their safety, but for the safety of snow plow crews, power crews, and first responders.
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