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The Latest: Snow, sleet and freezing rain take aim at South

RICHMOND, Va. — The Latest on the South’s severe weather (all times local):

9 p.m.

A snowstorm building across parts of the South is causing flight cancellations to and from Charlotte, North Carolina, out of the Midwest.

WTOL-TV reports that Toledo Express Airport’s website says that several American Airline flights to Charlotte were cancelled Saturday, as well as one scheduled for Sunday.

Flights out of Detroit to Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham in North Carolina have also been cancelled.

Travellers are advised to check their flights status before going to the airport.

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7 p.m.

Emergency officials are warning North Carolina residents to avoid unnecessary weekend travel because of snow, freezing rain and sleet lashing sweeping into the region.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said at a news conference Saturday that people should stay off the roads in the coming hours.

“This weekend isn’t the time to head out to see the winter wonderland,” the governor said. “Stay safe where you are. Getting out on dangerous roads could put your life at risk.”

The National Weather Service says a “prolonged period of snow” was starting late Saturday and would last into Monday, with the heaviest snow expected in northwest North Carolina and southern Virginia. Forecasters have said some mountainous areas of North Carolina could get up to 12 inches (30 centimetres) of snow or more. Heavy rains are expected in other parts of the South, threatening possible flooding in coastal areas.

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5 p.m.

Millions of people in Southern states braced for a harsh wintry storm that could bring immobilizing snowfalls, icy roads or deadly floods.

Governors and local officials from Texas to Virginia have declared emergencies ahead of the storm’s arrival to free up funds and manpower to help mitigate the storm’s effect.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Saturday that residents in the some parts of the state should be ready for lengthy fight with Mother Nature.

“We’re preparing for days of impact, not hours,” Cooper said.

Officials have warned residents to prepare emergency kits and staff off roads in impacted areas.

The National Weather Service says a “prolonged period of snow” was starting late Saturday and would last into Monday, with the heaviest snow expected in northwest North Carolina and southern Virginia.

The Associated Press

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