NORTH CAROLINA -- A winter storm is covering much of western North Carolina with snow and ice, with the heaviest amounts north of the Charlotte area.

Friday evening on I-77, traffic was stopped in multiple places, with everyone trying to navigate this first winter blast safely.

One man we spoke with says the storm, bringing more snow than he anticipated.

“Thought it was going to be wintry mix, but when I was coming out of Rowan County out of the back woods, it was snowing and I’m like, this is a lot more snow than I thought,” said James Francis of Woodleaf, N.C.

DOT above I-77 remind drivers to reduce speed and increase following distances.

With temperatures flirting with freezing , overnight conditions may go downhill rather quick – so give yourself plenty of extra time if you’re headed north of the Charlotte metro area.

Meanwhile, some places in the North Carolina mountains could see nearly a foot of snow before the storm passes through.

Most of the main roads have been plowed but backroads are still covered in snow.