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Perfect Storm? Ice, wind, snow buffet High Country

Trees down on Blowing Rock Market. Photographic image submitted by Jeff Stewart, community correspondent for Blowing Rock News and edited by David Rogers

By David Rogers. November 16, 2018. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Ice-laden branches drooping down across roadways have been a common sight the past couple of days, but fortunately most of the Blowing Rock area escaped more serious damage. Blowing Rock Market is a glaring exception.

COVER IMAGE: Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News in an area subdivision.

Overnight on Thursday or in the wee hours of Friday, the tops of trees collapsed under the weight of ice accumulating on branches above the market. Gravity — and high winds — proved too much for the trees to bear.  As a consequence, “…there are a couple of holes in the roof of the market…,” reported Interim Police Chief Aaron Miller to Blowing Rock News Friday morning.

Miller stated by telephone that his office is unaware of any other significant damage in Blowing Rock.

That may not be the case for the rest of the High Country. Blue Ridge Energy’s Renee Whitener reported to Blowing Rock News early Friday morning that approximately 4,000 members of the electric cooperative remained without power due to the snow, wind and ice. The highest number of outages were concentrated in Ashe County (2,094), Allegheny County (1,136) and Watauga County (587).  As of 5:30 am, Wilkes County had 73 outages reported and Alexander County one to complete a survey of the co-op’s 5-county service area.

Whitener added, “The combination of trees weighed down by ice and high winds cause some of those trees to fall down on power lines, causing outages. But those outages also pose a safety problem: even though a power line is down and your electric service is out, those power line are probably still ‘live.’ They are dangerous and even deadly if touched or approached. Our advice is for members of the public to stay away from them and immediately report any downed lines to Blue Ridge Electric at 1-800-451-5474 or call 9-1-1. Only trained technicians from Blue Ridge Energy should get near them, including trying to move them.”

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