NORFOLK, Va. — Freezing rain, sleet and snow blew into coastal areas stretching from South Carolina to Virginia on Friday in a winter storm that forecasters say could snarl a region that's unaccustomed to winter precipitation.
Authorities along the North and South Carolina coast warned that ice accumulations could cause major power outages, while areas to the northeast, stretching into Virginia, could see several inches (centimeters) of snow.
In North Carolina, a Delta Air Lines plane with 19 passengers on board skidded off the runway and rolled into mud while taxiing at snowy Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Friday night, according to airport officials. No injuries were reported aboard the flight from Washington, D.C.
Most of the precipitation is expected to pass by sunrise Saturday. But forecasters said temperatures likely won't rise above the 30s in North Carolina and Virginia during the day and will drop into the 20s and even teens in some places on Saturday night.
The snow will "probably be sticking around for a little bit," said Alec Butner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Virginia. "We finally get into the 40s on Sunday. We might have some melting by that point."
Transportation officials in the southeast corner of Virginia said Friday morning that crews had been working overnight to treat the roads, but warned people to stay off of them.
"Luckily, I got a 4-wheel drive (pickup truck)," he added. "So, if anything happens I'm not stuck for real. I can probably make it to where I need to go. But I'm sure nothing will be open."
In North Carolina, the heaviest amounts of ice will likely develop near New Bern, where two U.S. highways cross, said Ryan Ellis of the National Weather Service office in Newport/Morehead City.
"We could see up to a half an inch of ice there, and with that amount you're really starting to get into concerns about power outages," Ellis said. Ice will be a concern along the coast from Jacksonville, North Carolina, to the northeastern corner of South Carolina.
In New Bern, Annabelle's restaurant closed early on Friday afternoon.
"We've done about a fifth of what we would normally do on a lunch," said manager Keith Strange, whose family owns the restaurant in the picturesque river town of about 30,000 people. "Plus, we're working with a volunteer staff and don't want to have people driving if conditions get worse later."
The storm that's been forecast is a rare event, which people are taking pretty seriously, Strange said.
"Essentials are hard to find," he said. "I know several grocery stores were completely out of milk and bread yesterday at different times. People were buying hamburger buns."
Duke Energy said in a news release that it has readied 2,500 workers around the Carolinas to help restore power after the storm, drawing crews from as far away as Florida and Indiana.
In South Carolina, areas that typically consider hurricanes their biggest weather threat were preparing for ice.
Crews treated the high, long bridges along the state's coast before the freezing rain started, warning they could become especially dangerous due to freezing rain. Myrtle Beach planned to close at least one bridge for safety before any bad weather started. In Charleston, schools were closed and many offices and businesses shut down after lunch.
The U.S. Navy is requiring only mission-essential personnel to report to its installations along Virginia's coast, including the world's largest Navy base in Norfolk. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina, also announced that nonessential employees weren't required to report to work Friday.