A winter storm advisory is in effect until 2 p.m. on Monday and if big airports like Charlotte are affected, smaller airports are sure to be.
Most of the heavier snow fell further south and east, across North Carolina and Virginia. Potentially heavy snow is also forecast for upstate SC, western North Carolina, southern Virginia and southern West Virginia.
Snow will be heavy at times Sunday afternoon and last into the evening, especially across southern Virginia.
The state had 500 vehicle accidents in an 11-hour period, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.
A snowstorm building across parts of the South is causing flight cancellations to and from Charlotte, North Carolina, out of the Midwest.
"Getting out on unsafe roads could put your life at risk", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said, urging residents to be vigilant about the changing weather conditions.
"Stay put if you can", Cooper urged Sunday.
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The state of emergency allows Virginia to mobilize resources and to deploy people and equipment to assist in response and recovery efforts.
American Airlines also issued a travel alert for nine airports throughout the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Virginia, meaning passengers may be able to change travel plans without a fee. By Tuesday morning, the unsafe weather will begin to pull out into the Atlantic leaving many in the east with much more settled weather. The bulk of the outages are in North Carolina, where 102,383 customers don't have power while in SC it's 52,191.
Freezing rain has led to ice on bridges and overpasses near Clarksville, Tennessee, according to weather.com, and 58-year-old William James Taylor was killed Sunday after he was run over by another driver on Interstate 81 near Kingsport, Tennessee, after exiting his own tractor-trailer on the highway.
Temperatures Monday in the Charlotte area are expected to rise to 36 degrees, helping to clear major roads.
A total of more than 1,700 flights throughout the region were canceled.
"We tried to stay in as long as we could, but the boys had to go sledding", said Janna Civils, who took her four sons to a golf course to go sledding.
Interstate 81 in southwest Virginia became particularly risky as the snow fell so quickly that snow removal crews couldn't keep up, leading to several tractor-trailer accidents. The airport had almost 400 cancellations, about one-fourth of its scheduled flights.
Roads are already getting slick in many parts of the area, making driving conditions unsafe. "Please stay off the roads", Greenville County Emergency Management pleaded.