Blizzard leaves thousands in Carolinas without power

WASHINGTON (AP) – The latest on the blizzard slamming a large swath of the United States

About 150,000 North Carolina homes and businesses are shuddering in the cold after ice and strong winds caused power outages.

The State Highway Patrol warned motorists Saturday to stay off roads that were coated with invisible sheets of ice. Troopers had responded to more than 2,000 crashes since icy conditions moved in on Wednesday. At least five storm-related deaths are reported in the state.

The heaviest power outages were south of Raleigh. Officials warned statewide that sustained winds of 20 miles an hour Saturday threatened to rip down ice-coated power lines.

Most flights in and out of Raleigh-Durham’s airport were canceled, but American Airlines’ second-busiest hub in Charlotte was open.

Gov. Pat McCrory urged fans to stay home rather than attend Saturday’s rivalry game between Duke University and North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

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