Workers repairing overnight outages in High Country - | WBTV Charlotte

Thousands lose power in the mountains, repair crews making progress


As the winds whipped through a Blowing Rock neighborhood along Green Hill Road overnight, Phil Rossi and his family huddled inside a home and listened as trees snapped and branches fell around the house.


"It was a bit frightening," said Rossi Thursday morning. The house he was staying in was one of thousands that lost power because of the high winds that came along with ice and snow. "It got really really cold inside," said Rossi.


Trees and branches fell down in many areas of Watauga and Ashe Counties. In one case, almost ten thousand people lost power when one tree hit a key line near Boone.


Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation had repair crews in the field before daybreak. "It's been tough" said one crew member as he hiked through a wooded area to a broken power pole.


Crews have been methodically getting power restored throughout the area. "Our goal is to do it safely," said lineman Eric Laws. "We will get it all restored as quickly as we can but people need to be patient."


Downed trees caused more than power problems. Along Ransom Road in Blowing Rock, one toppled tree crushed a stone entrance to one home while up the road a few hundred yards another tree took down power lines and blocked the driveway of real estate agent Margo Lenmark.


"We're stuck, we're totally trapped," said Lenmark. She was hoping crews would come by and at least clear the debris so she could make some appointments she had set up. By mid-afternoon, though, the debris was still there.

It is the second time in as many weeks that the North Carolina mountains have had to contend with snow, ice and high winds. Last week thousands lost power in some of the same areas that crews were working in on Thursday. 

Those outages were repaired by Saturday night and officials are hoping for a quick end to power troubles this time as well. "We will do what we have to do to get the job done," said Laws.

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