By Nathan Ham
With a long night full of gusty winds and snow showers, Blue Ridge Energy line crews were out most of the night and are still out this morning trying to return power to a little over 1,000 customers who still do not have power as of 9 a.m. Friday morning.
Currently, 1,058 Blue Ridge Energy customers are out of power. 480 of those are in Alleghany County while 247 are in Wilkes County, 242 in Caldwell County, 73 in Watauga County and 16 in Ashe County.
On Thursday night, over 5,000 residents in the western end of Watauga County were without power after a large transmission line was damaged. Residents were without power from 7:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. Crews had to use an all-terrain vehicle to reach the damaged line that was near the top of a remote ridge.
At Grandfather Mountain, the winds got worse as the night went on with the highest wind gust recorded at 7 a.m. Friday morning. The wind measured in at 101.9 MPH with another strong wind gust of 99.8 MPH at 8 a.m.
The highest wind gust recorded in Boone was 61 MPH according to Ray’s Weather Center. That took place at 9:24 a.m.
Schools in Watauga County are on a three-hour delay.