North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says state officials are treating a quick-moving storm in eastern North Carolina seriously because of its expected combination of freezing rain, snow and high winds, followed by continued frigid temperatures.

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Cooper said Wednesday at a pre-storm news conference that he's worried about people who could lose power during the storm and their ability to heat their homes. Since temperatures are expected to remain at or below freezing for the next several days, Cooper says it may be more difficult for first responders and transportation crews to work.

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Cooper says he'll issue an emergency declaration in storm-affected areas. Eight hundred Department of Transportation employees already are involved in anti-icing operations on state roads. Still, the governor urged people in affected areas to stay off roads Wednesday night and Thursday because they could become dangerous.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning or advisory for 44 counties in central and eastern North Carolina. A wind chill advisory is in effect in 22 counties in western North Carolina.

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