HIGH COUNTY — Several counties in Northwest North Carolina, as well as areas of Southwest Virginia were issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Feb. 17-18 by the NWS Blacksburg on Feb. 16. The main threat of the projected weather event was significant ice accumulation, which leads to downed trees, power outages and dangerous travel conditions. The data provided by the NWS Blacksburg called for ice accumulations of half an inch or more of ice.
In Ashe County, Emergency Management provided several updates on their Facebook page to help residents in the counties on high alert to prepare and stay safe during the weather event.
Blue Ridge Energy also kept residents informed about ways they were preparing for the storm on their Facebook page and other social media outlets. They let everybody know that their crews were ready to respond in the event of outages and provided information about outage texting, their mobile app and a phone number to utilize to report any outages.
Throughout the day on Feb. 18, BRE posted updates on reported outages and power restoration.
Director of Public Relations for Blue Ridge Energy, Renee Whitener provided details about outages that occurred within the cooperative’s service area.
According to Whitener’s reports, BRE restored power to nearly 300 members. This included residents in Ashe, Caldwell and Watauga districts.
There were 154 members in the Lansing, Shatley Springs and Laurel Springs communities who lost power from 8:21 am until 10:20 am due to trees on power lines and an equipment malfunction.
Due to the inclement weather occurring the evening of Feb. 17, all Ashe County offices delayed opening until 9 a.m. on Feb. 18.
According to Emergency Management Coordinator Patty Gambill, there were not any reports of damage in the county as a result of the storm. She added that there were a few traffic accidents, a few downed trees in roadways and a small number of scattered power outages. In anticipation of the icy road conditions and loss of power, Ashe County Schools had an optional teacher workday on Feb. 18. Due to the increased potential for black ice due and change of freezing rain on the morning of Feb. 19, ACS operated on a two-hour delay.