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April 18, 2014

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Jan. 17 storm rocks region

Cross-country skiers take advantage of the freshly fallen snow Jan. 18 for a couple of laps around Bass Lake in Blowing Rock. AMANDA LUGENBELL PHOTO
Cross-country skiers take advantage of the freshly fallen snow Jan. 18 for a couple of laps around Bass Lake in Blowing Rock. AMANDA LUGENBELL PHOTO
Published: 9:16 AM, 01/24/2013 Last updated: 9:18 AM, 01/24/2013
 

Author: Jeff Eason
Source: The Blowing Rocket

A powerful snowstorm ripped through Blowing Rock and the High Country Jan. 17 covering the area with thick wet snow in just a matter of hours.

How much snow you received depended on where you were in Watauga County, with the western facing slopes receiving as much as six to eight inches.

In Blowing Rock, three to four inches seemed to be the norm.

It was the most snow to have fallen at one time in the High Country in the past two years.

While N.C. Department of Transportation road crews did a good job of keeping main roads salted, sanded and plowed, many side roads and long driveways were hazardous to drive.

According to Blowing Rock Police Department reports, traffic on U.S. 321 came to a halt for a time Thursday night, Jan. 17, due to the heavy snow and stranded vehicles.

One traffic accident occurred on U.S. 321 that Thursday night, when a car slid on an icy patch of road and overturned.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

The biggest problem caused by the winter storm was a rash of power outages due to heavy snow on power lines, and more frequently, snow causing trees and heavy branches to snap power lines.

According to Renee Whitener, director of public relations for Blue Ridge Electrical Membership Corporation, at the height of the storm, approximately 9,000 of BREMCO’s members were without power.

The greatest percentage of power outages occurred in Ashe County, she said.

Power restorations were fully completed to BREMCO members as of 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to Whitener.

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