By Paul T. Choate
Feb. 26, 2013. Following recent freezing rain the area, some of the trees around the High Country were just about to snap (some already have, in fact) from the weight of all the ice. Several power outages have occurred today as well. Fortunately, just in time, the temperature is finally getting above freezing and melting some of this ice off.
A winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service is set to expire at 2 p.m., but the High Country will remain under a high wind warning with gusts up to 60 mph until 7 p.m. Keep in mind that high winds can easily snap tree branches weighted down with ice, which could fall on power lines and across roadways.
According to the Blue Ridge Electric outage map, 163 customers are still without power as of 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Crews are out currently working to restore power to those affected.
According to Ray’s Weather Center, the temperature in downtown Boone is 31.5 degrees. Over at Watauga High School on the southeast side of town, the mercury is already up to 32.8 degrees. Ray was forecasting a high of 38 degrees today, so if we can get up around that mark it will make short work of this ice.
Over in Banner Elk, the temperature is already up to 34.7 degrees. Even atop Beech Mountain, it’s getting close to passing the freezing mark at 31.4 degrees.
As for travel, with all the salt that’s been put out by the area road crews, the main roads are generally okay, but motorists should still use some caution and watch for slick spots as the ice melts away.
Photos by Ken Ketchie