Mountains power crews preparing for weather, potential outages

BOONE, NC (WBTV) - On a day when it was wet enough and warm enough in the morning for earthworms to show themselves on Boone sidewalks, the end of the day's weather will be quite different.

A high wind warning with plunging temperatures will be the rule Thursday night and into Friday.

In fact, officials say snow could be falling by morning.

It's why the local DOT yard was getting a couple of loads of salt and why emergency officials are reminding people to stay prepared for bad weather.

The big concern over the next two days is the wind.

"The ground is saturated and high winds could push trees into power lines," said Fire Marshal Taylor Marsh.

He says emergency crews are ready to deal with what comes but the general public needs to be as well.

If power goes out, he suggests flashlights instead of candles, and keep warm clothes in easy reach.

Above all, Marsh says, treat all downed power lines as if they are live. Stay inside if possible and if trapped in a car, stay inside there as well until help comes.

Keep a charged up cell phone handy and call the power company if your electricity goes off.

Blue Ridge Energy has crews on standby. With winds expected to gust up to 50 and 60 miles per hour, they do expect outages.

About 5,000 outages have already been reported as of Thursday night, the vast majority in Watauga County and the rest in Caldwell County.

Blue Ridge is asking customers with power issues to call 1-800-448-2383.

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