ASHE COUNTY — The first flakes of what has been dubbed Winter Storm Diego will begin to fall after dark Saturday night, continuing through Sunday and into the morning of Monday, Dec. 10.
"Travel will be very difficult and is highly discouraged," the NWS said in a winter weather message at 10:21 p.m. Saturday night. "Power outages may also occur."
The National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Virginia is expecting the heaviest snow to occur across northwest North Carolina into southern Virginia, with total snow accumulations estimated from 12 to 20 inches in Ashe County.
“Low pressure will track from Texas, across the Gulf Coast states through today while cold high pressure builds south across the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic,” the NWS said. “The low will then move off the southeast coast Sunday into Monday.”
Travel could be very difficult to impossible, the NWS said.
Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency across all of North Carolina ahead of the storm Friday, Dec. 7.
“North Carolina is gearing up for a major winter storm and we’re taking all steps necessary to have the resources we need in place to respond,” Cooper said. “Snow may be beautiful, but it can also be treacherous and I urge North Carolinians to take this storm seriously and get ready for it now.”
NCDOT Highway Maintenance Engineer Ethan Osborne said Wednesday that the Ashe County Maintenance Yard was well-stocked with salt and all snow equipment was inspected and ready to go.
Similarly, Renee Whitener of Blue Ridge Energy said Wednesday that the cooperative is on high-alert. Line technicians are prepping their trucks and system monitors will watch for outages as the snow rolls in, Whitener said.
For a BRE map of power outages, visit the following link: https://bremco.maps.sienatech.com/?fbclid=IwAR1VQdolU1r-MpzOzPI-ZpEtvdLF-DytiVh4oTFdglna8MdYeGGHLRHcOis.
Ashe Post & Times will provide updates as the storm progresses. Share your snowy weather photos with Ashe Post & Times on Facebook.