RALEIGH, N.C. – Snow, sleet and freezing rain pelted the Carolinas on Sunday, knocking out power to thousands and causing hundreds of accidents on one of the busiest travel and shopping days of the year.
At least two people were killed.
Some portions of eastern North Carolina received more than 9 inches of snow, surprising many residents who often go through an entire winter without seeing any snow.
Farther south, freezing rain coated trees and power lines with ice, knocking out power to more than 25,000 homes and businesses in central and northeastern South Carolina.
State troopers responded to hundreds of calls reporting accidents on icy roads throughout the day.
Two people were killed in North Carolina.
Police said thousands of people were on their way home at the end of the Christmas holiday when the storm struck. It came after parts of the Carolinas had received several inches of snow last week.
“We knew that this would be an unusual event,” said Gail Hartfield, a weather service meteorologist.
“It is unusual, but it’s not completely unprecedented,” Hartfield said.
However, the cold weather and slippery roads did not keep malls in the Raleigh area from opening Sunday for shoppers looking for after-holiday bargains.