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Howard's Creek Road on Friday morning. Photo by Rob Moore

Originally published: 2014-01-03 12:15:56
Last modified: 2014-01-03 12:54:06

Temps take a January plunge

by Staff Reports

Bitterly cold, single-digit temperatures greeted Watauga County residents Friday morning following a night of blustery wind and snow.

Roughly two to four inches of snow fell after rain drenched the High Country Jan. 2 and Jan. 3. Snow plow operators worked diligently to keep roads clear, a task that is hampered when temperatures fall so far below freezing. 

"The mountain counties of Division 11 (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga) were the only ones to see significant snow accumulation in that division. Crews are clearing roughly one to three inches of snow in those counties, but the low temperatures decrease the effectiveness of salt," the N.C. Department of Transportation said in a statement Friday.

"Motorists traveling through Western North Carolina today are asked to slow down, use caution and be mindful of any NCDOT workers or vehicles along the roadway," it said.

The high winds overnight downed a few trees throughout the Blue Ridge Electric service area, the utility said Friday. In Watauga County, two fallen trees took down spans of line affecting 36 members primarily on Mt. Zion Road off of U.S. 421 from 2:14 a.m. until power was restored at 4:29 a.m..
In Boone, temperatures hit a low of 6 degrees on Friday morning and were not expected to top 20 degrees during the day, according to the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg, Va.

"Dealing with today's cold will be good practice for the even colder weather on its way early next week," the office warned in a Facebook post. According to the NWS forecast, the Boone area has a chance of freezing rain Sunday morning, followed by light snow Sunday night into Monday and then, the big chill -- with temperatures forecasted as low as -4 degrees Monday night and a high of 8 degrees on Tuesday.

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