Jonathan Drew / AP
Up to a foot of snow – and possibly more – is expected to fall through the southern Appalachians and nearby foothills in North Carolina and Virginia until Sunday evening.
"Some places may have fallen like a year's snow for this area," said David Roth, a pre-forecaster for the Weather Prediction Center, told NPR. "I would think that this will be a historic storm for Southwest Virginia and West North Carolina."
The National Weather Service has issued alerts for winter storms for areas in northeast Georgia to southern Virginia. It is predicted that a mix of wet snow, sleet and rain will hit southern Virginia and the coastal plain of the Carolinas, which is still recovering from Hurricane Florence.
Churches throughout the region have stopped the Sunday service and many schools are planning to stop their work on Monday.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said on Friday the state of emergency blizzard he reminded the residents is not the same as "snow".
"This weekend is not the time to see the Winter Wonderland, so stay safe where you are," Cooper said.  Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam followed suit and declared a state of emergency on Saturday.
"The Virginians should take all necessary precautions to ensure that they are prepared for the storms in winter," said Northam North Carolina's emergency response officer on Saturday.
It will not be easy for people to travel during the storm – on the road, on the train or in the air.  Cooper warned that North Carolinians defying the streets could make it harder for first responders and crew members to do their jobs, including keeping the roads ice-free.
"Every night snow that melts during the day." It could be frozen again, "forecaster David Roth told NPR." They'll end up with black ice on the streets. "Millions of gallons of saline on the streets of the state to prevent them from being iced up.
Flights to and from cities in North Carolina and Virginia are also affected, including travel advisors to various major airlines, including Delta, Southwest, United, and American. Flights to Tennessee and South Carolina
FlightAware, a website that records flights, reported more than 1,000 cancellations of flights to and from Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Sunday morning.
And on Saturday, Amtrak announced it would cancel trains by Tuesday and change service.
Since heavy snow and ice depress branches and trees, St fall and cause power outages.
One of the country's largest electricity companies, Duke Energy, announced on Saturday that the storm in the Carolinas could lead to more than 500,000 power cuts.
According to a website that tracks live power outages, nearly 150,000 people in North Carolina were unpowered on Sunday morning. In South Carolina, over 80,000 people were without electricity.