NEWLAND, NC (WBTV) - Fall colors are getting close to peak in some sections of the highest elevations in the North Carolina Mountains. It comes at a time when a storm in the Gulf of Mexico appears to be taking aim at the mountains.
"It could knock the leaves off," said Ethan Matherly of the North Carolina Forest Service. On the other hand, he says, the rain that might fall during the storm is critically needed. The forests are dry and have been for several weeks. A change in the weather pattern is needed, he says, before fires start to break out.
In Blowing Rock, the streets are already flooded with fall color tourists. Tracy Brown of the Tourism Development Authority says October is the biggest tourist month of the year and is hoping the storm loses its punch before coming close.
"We could stand a little rain but you can keep the wind down east of us." Brown says all anyone can do is hope for the best.