Gov. Pat McCrory announced a state of emergency Thursday, ahead of N.C.’s first major winter storm.

The storm is predicted to take full effect from Friday through Saturday, with major cloud buildup occurring late Thursday.

“Our goal is to be overprepared, and, hopefully, underwhelmed” McCrory said.

Forecasters warn of severe ice buildup that could result in downed tree limbs, as well as power outages and dangerous roadways. So far there have already been two storm-related fatalities reported, in Stokes and Forsyth counties.

“As we’ve already seen, these conditions can be treacherous,” said Department of Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry. “If you can stay off the roads when the frozen precipitation begins, please do.”

All Highway Patrol troopers have been activated or put on standby. Fifteen teams of National guard soldiers have been stationed across the state to assist stranded drivers, and chainsaw crews stand ready to clear blocked roadways.