ASHE COUNTY — Winds gusting as high as 60 mph caused trees to fall, downing power lines and keeping Ashe County emergency responders busy clearing debris off of roadways the afternoon of Friday, April 26 and into Saturday, April 27, according to Blue Ridge Energy and the National Weather Service.

A NWS high wind warning was in effect over Ashe County most of Friday until noon Saturday, due to northwest winds blowing at 20-30 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph.

More than 4,200 BRE customers were affected by outages during the wind storm, according to BRE Director of Public Relations Renee Whitener.

Power outages in Ashe County exceeded 1,000 Blue Ridge Energy customers during the 5 p.m. hour Friday, with that number dropping to around 225 outages by 6 p.m., according to the cooperative’s online outage map. Five Ashe County power poles broke in the wind, and numerous spans of wire were also downed, Whitener said.

Local fire departments, Ashe County Rescue Squad, the department of transportation and other municipal services responded to fallen trees and downed power lines caused by the wind gusts.

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