It’s not really The Night Before Christmas or A Christmas Carol but how about “The Tale of Three High Country Christmases Past”
2009 Ice Storm: More than 21,000 customers of Blue Ridge Electric Membership without power on Christmas Day. Ice was about an inch thick causing tree limbs, and power lines to fall.
Emergency shelters were set up in the Deep Gap Volunteer Fire Department and the Valle Crucis Conference Center. Rain began falling during the 8pm hour on December 24 followed by freezing rain in the 10pm hour, heavy icing started occurring around 2-3am Christmas morning.
At the height of the outages, around 35,000 BREMCO members were without power. The ice storm damaged nearly half the cooperative’s 3,000 miles of power lines and took down some 150 power poles. Around 9am Dec 31, BREMCO announced that all their outages had been restored.
Below are some pictures of the damage in a slideshow. You can also see all of the slideshow pictures here [lg_slideshow folder=”December 2009/”]
December 2010 storm: Not only was the High Country hit during this massive storm, but all along the east coast from Florida to Maine were affected. It was the first significant winter storm for 2010-2011.
Ice and snow caused power outages on Dec 26, 2010 mostly in the Blowing Rock portion of the county. The outage began at 4:54 p.m. for approximately 3,000 members served by the Blowing Rock substation that was affected by heavy snow and ice.
Here’s a graphic from a North Carolina State University article showing the snowfall for the December 25 & 26
For the month of December Boone set a new snowfall record with 28.7 inches, breaking broke the old record of 23.3 inches set back in 1969, according to a National Climate Data Center article.
And now to this December 2011: It’s been quiet compared to December 2009 and 2010. This Christmas weekend will find no travel or power problems due to Mother Nature.