Gov. Cooper says "people at work should go home now"

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Gov. Roy Cooper says a winter storm could affect North Carolina a little longer than earlier predicted because it's moving a little slower than expected.

Cooper said at a weather briefing Wednesday the mountains already had received 4 inches (10 centimeters) of snow and some of central North Carolina could ultimately get 6 inches (15 centimeters) before the storm leaves.

Related: School closings & delays for Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 

The governor urged people at work to go home now if they can because conditions will deteriorate during the evening rush hour with more snow and falling temperatures.

The state Highway Patrol has already responded to over 500 collisions and received more than 700 calls for service.

Photo Gallery: Snow makes its way across the Carolinas 

Department of Transportation workers sprayed more than 2 million gallons of salt brine on major roads leading up to the storm.

Cooper said nearly all school districts in the state were closed Wednesday or adjusted their schedules.