Hit Hard With Snow, Southern Courts Close Their Doors

RICHMOND, Va. (CN) – State and federal courts across Virginia and North Carolina are closed Monday after a massive snow storm caused thousands of accidents and power outages throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

In a storm that dropped more than a foot of Virginia, a state trooper’s vehicle on I-95 was involved one of more than a thousand accidents that the state saw on Dec. 9, 2018. (Photo via Virginia State Police)

While the storm’s snowfall was anticipated to be large, totals far exceeded predicted numbers throughout Central Virginia. Richmond, for example, saw as much as a foot of snowfall over the course of the storm’s 12-hour run.

Virginia state police have said 1,100 vehicles were reported disabled, while at least two state troopers were involved in the more than 1,000 accidents were also reported along Virginia roadways. One trooper was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Officials say travel is highly discouraged as the poor road conditions have made it dangerous for first responders.

In North Carolina at least one death has been linked to the storm when a drunken driver was struck by a falling tree. State police there say at least 500 accidents were reported within the first 11 hours of Sunday’s storm, though no other deaths were reported.

The storm has affected power grids across both states as well, with about 550,000 outages reported in North Carolina and another 30,000 in Virginia.

While the snow has stopped falling, both states’ governors have advised residents to avoid travel. Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing into Tuesday, leading to more possible delays.

“Virginians should take all necessary precautions to ensure they are prepared for winter weather storm impacts,” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said in a message declaring a state of emergency across the commonwealth Saturday morning.

On Monday, 60 state courts in North Carolina are closed, as are state and federal courts in Virginia’s two districts. While Virginia does not have a single system similar to that of North Carolina that collects court-closing data, the state Supreme Court is closed are dozens of others.

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