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Storm hits Carolinas and officials warn of potential widespread power outages

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A winter storm brought snowfall and freezing rain to North and South Carolina on Saturday, creating hazardous conditions on roads and threatening to leave hundreds of thousands of people without power, officials said.

The snowfall began on Saturday evening and was expected to last until early Monday in some areas, with up to 18 inches (46 cm) forecast for North Carolina’s Mount Mitchell, the National Weather Service said.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, who declared a state of emergency on Friday, told residents to finish stockpiling food and avoid unnecessary travel.

“This weekend isn’t the time to head out to see the winter wonderland. Stay safe where you are,” Cooper said in a statement.

The effects of the storm, including power outages, could last for days in North Carolina, with the state’s mountainous western region expected to be particularly hard hit by snow, officials said.

About 500,000 electricity customers could lose power in North Carolina and South Carolina, a Duke Energy spokeswoman said on Twitter.

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By Saturday evening, the storm had dumped 5 inches (13 cm) of snow on Hendersonville, a North Carolina city about 100 miles (160 km) west of Charlotte, meteorologist Zack Taylor of the federal Weather Prediction Center said by phone.

Charlotte, North Carolina’s most populous city, was expected to also receive 5 inches (13 cm) of snow before the storm ends.

Snow was forecast for Virginia’s southern region beginning early on Sunday, including up to 6 inches (15 cm) in the Lynchburg area.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared an emergency for the state on Saturday, warning of potential power outages and snarled transportation.

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The storm could affect airports, including Asheville and Raleigh-Durham International in North Carolina, Lynchburg and Roanoke in Virginia and Greenville-Spartanburg International, South Carolina. American Airlines said it would waive change fees for people booked through Charlotte Douglas International, a major regional hub in North Carolina.

A mix of snow and sleet fell in upstate region of South Carolina on Saturday evening, Taylor said.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division warned motorists to drive carefully on bridges, overpasses and remote roadways, which could quickly freeze over.

Icy rain also threatened to cover roads with ice in the mountains of northeast Georgia, officials said.

The storm formed earlier this week off the Texas coast and moved east, lashing parts of Arkansas and Tennessee with icy rain.

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Virginia Democrats are so fired up that the party chair had to scold them: ‘Sit down — be quit’

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Democrats in Virginia are fired up as they gathered in Richmond for their annual gala dinner.

Political analysts believe the Democratic Party of Virginia has a good chance to win control of the state legislature in 2019's election, before setting their sights on the Commonwealth continuing its recent trend of voting Democratic in presidential elections.

Patrick Wilson, a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, attended the event.

He reported that Democrats were so "noisy" that it was hard to hear the speakers, which include presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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‘Everyone knows what to expect’ at Trump’s Amway Center re-election kickoff

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Donald Trump considers himself a legendary salesman, but can he really sell America on giving him four more drama-filled years at the White House?

Tuesday, he'll make his big pitch.

The 2020 reelection kickoff rally is being held in Orlando, Florida and campaign operations chief Michael Glassner says the "historic" event "has already generated tens of thousands of ticketing requests."

There's little mystery about how the night will go down.

Expect Trump, the self-promoting hero of his ghost-written book "The Art of the Deal," to claim the US economy is richer, the military stronger, and the country more respected than ever in history.

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Florida man’s own family blasts him after he was arrested for racist threats: ‘This isn’t how we were raised’

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After a Florida man was arrested for trying to start a race war, a member of his own family slammed his values.

"A Florida man’s social media posts that threatened violence against African-Americans, Jews and homosexuals and that urged his followers to start a race war netted him a $1 million bond," the Miami Herald reported Saturday. "And then there’s another $100,000 bond he would have to pay to get out of Lee County Jail because of a weapons charge."

Joshua Leff, 40, is being held in the Lee County Jail.

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