Major Storm Causes Flooding, Energy Outages In The High Country

Major Storm Causes Flooding, Energy Outages In The High Country
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By David Rogers. October 23, 2017. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Maybe Boone residents didn’t see Class I whitewater rapids on King Street, but they experienced major flooding in low-lying areas near Wal-Mart and The Wellness Center on Monday.  Meanwhile, rising waters of the New River in Blowing Rock caused a measure of panic among residents and business owners on Monday as a major storm brought heavy rains, thunder and lightning, high winds and even a possible tornado hit the High Country.

COVER IMAGE: Blue Ridge Energy will be working overtime Monday night to restore all of the indicated outages in its 6-county service area, including Watauga, Caldwell, Alexander, Wilkes, Ashe and Allegheny counties. Graphic courtesy of Blue Ridge Electric using Google Maps.

Spokeswoman Renee Whitener of Blue Ridge Energy reported to Blowing Rock News that more than 7,000 members of the cooperative were without power as of 6:20 pm after the stormy conditions brought down trees and heavily damaged power lines and utility poles.

“Currently,” Whitener said, “Alleghany County is the most severely impacted with 3,480 members without power. In Ashe County, 1,755 members are without power and in Caldwell County, where power supplier issues are also impacting reliability in the southern end of the county, 1,128 members are awaiting restoration. Another 163 members in Watauga County are affected, 156 in Alexander County, and 141 in Wilkes County.”

In Blowing Rock, the Middle Fork South Fork of the New River crested and overflowed the banks well into the parking lot behind the Blowing Rock News office in the Glenwood Office Condos and the heavy rain turned Sunset Drive in front of First Baptist Church into a raging river.

In an email, Whitener added this message to all residents and business owners served by Blue Ridge Energy:

“Members should report all outages to Blue Ridge Energy by calling PowerLine at 1-800-448-2383 or through the Blue Ridge mobile app, available for free in app stores.

“For outage restoration updates at any time, check the cooperative’s live, 24/7 outage map by visiting or using the Blue Ridge mobile app.

“The public is reminded of the hazards of downed power lines, which can still be energized and therefore dangerous or even deadly! Stay far away from downed power lines and report them immediately by calling Blue Ridge Energy at 1-800-451-5474.

“Blue Ridge Energy serves some 75,000 members in northwest North Carolina. For more information,”

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