CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Snow and cold weather in western North Carolina have closed or delayed some schools and left several thousand customers without electricity.

Duke Energy reported nearly 5,000 customers without service Monday morning, most in western North Carolina. The biggest problems were in Henderson, Buncombe and Guilford counties.

Schools in Avery County were closed because of snow and ice on the roads. Schools in Mitchell, Watauga and Wilkes counties planned to open two hours later than usual.

A freeze warning is in effect for most of western North Carolina.

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