By Jesse Wood
Feb. 11, 2014. Along with the rest of the High Country and beyond, the N.C. Department of Transportation and Blue Ridge Electric Membership Cooperative are preparing for what the National Weather Service is predicting to be the strongest snowstorm to affect the region since 2009-10 winter.
Ray’s Weather Center published an accumulation map that forecasts six to 10 plus inches for Avery, Watauga and Ashe Counties with the least amount of forecasted snow on the Western portion of the counties.
This morning, Ray’s Weather Center advised readers to brace themselves before checking out the map in a Facebook post: “Before you look at the map, please make sure that your seatbelt is snug around your waist and the buckle is securely fastened. Most of the snow on this map comes Wednesday. A little bit in the southern half of the map falls today. Enjoy!”
The winter storm warning goes into effect at 6 a.m. on Wednesday and ends at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
NCDOT noted that it began brining operations on Sunday on all bare pavement routes.
“Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties had snow removal operations taking place over the weekend so salt is already on primary routes there. Crews are on standby to reapply mixture if needed, and plow and sand once the weather hits,” a release on NCDOT preparations noted.
NCDOT also warned motorists of dangers of fallen trees and power lines.
With heavy, wet snow forecasted, Blue Ridge Electric Membership Cooperative is on high alert and ready to respond should outages occur in the coming days, a release noted.
“The public is advised to stay far away from downed power lines because they can still be energized and therefore dangerous or even deadly. No one except a trained line technician should handle or be near a downed power line. The public is asked to report downed power lines by calling [1-800-448-2383],” the release advised.
Check out some graphics and video below for what to expect: