Winter temperatures linger in March
by Allison Haver
The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory on Wednesday for the region, and on Thursday it published a list of "some of the higher wind gusts."
According to the NWS graphic, Jefferson in Ashe County experienced the highest wind gusts with a gust of 60 mph. Other local areas on the list included gusts in Boone at 58 mph and Foscoe at 50 mph.
Starting around 5 p.m. Wednesday, Blue Ridge Electric responded to 213 members in Watauga County who lost power, according to Renée Whitener, director of public relations for Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation.
BREMCO also responded to several broken power line poles around the area, including three in Ashe County.
"This was certainly one of the most severe wind storms I can recall," Whitener said.
The Watauga County Sheriff's Office responded to around 12 or 13 fire alarms Wednesday evening through Thursday morning due to the high volume of winds, said Melissa Harmon, supervisor of the Watauga County Communications Center.
"That number is a little excessive compared to the usual number of alarms we respond to," Harmon said.
The wind chill on Thursday in Boone registered 1 degree, with similar temperatures in surrounding areas, according to the National Weather Service.
Watauga County Schools cancelled classes on Thursday due to the inclement weather, increasing the number of snow days for students to 16 for the current school year. Students have already made up two of the missed days with Saturday school and, with classes being held this Saturday, the number of made-up school days will become three, according to WCS spokesman Marshall Ashcraft.
The last day of school for Watauga High School students is currently June 12.