A series of storms lead to power outages across the High Country on Monday night and into Tuesday morning. Heavy rain and high winds also lead to at least two calls of downed trees on local roads.
Renee Whitener, Director of Public Relations for Blue Ridge Electric, tells WataugaRoads.com that system wide a total of 2,989 members were affected by the outages. Linemen worked throughout the night on restoring power from damage to the electric system from lightning strikes, high winds, and several fallen trees. The first outages began around 7 p.m. and the final outages were restored at 7:40 a.m.
Though Watauga County was not hit hard with the number of outages, Whitner does confirm that lightning hit a transformer in Cove Creek early Tuesday morning leading to some outages. Monday night and Tuesday morning Watauga had a total of 139 members affected.
It was a different story in Ashe and the portion of Wilkes County served by Blue Ridge. A total of 2,612 members were affected in Ashe, primarily in the Obids, Little Helton and Long Branch areas.
The Blue Ridge EMC outage map at 8:25pm Monday night showed over 1500 outages in Ashe, and over 1000 in Wilkes at that time.
Fosoce Fire Department and Stewart Simmons Fire Department were dispatched to trees down in their districts in the 7pm hour Monday. Foscoe responded to Dewitt Barnett Road in Valle Crucis for a down tree blocking at least part of the road near the low water bridge. Stewart Simmons responded to a section of Elk Creek Road where multiple trees were across the road, according to scanner dispatch.
The Watauga Medical Center weather reporting station recorded peak wind gusts of 41mph at 7:35pm Monday, and again at 7:15am Tuesday. As of 7am Tuesday the Boone1SE official rain report was just under an inch of rain, measuring 0.89 in a 24 hour span.
The National Weather Service had issued both a Severe Thunderstorm Watch and a Severe Thunderstorm warning on Monday night. A Flash Flood Watch was also issued until noon Tuesday, but was allowed to expire at 7:37am. As of 1:40pm Tuesday there had been no reports of damage into the WataugaRoads social media outlets.
More showers and storms are in the forecast for the rest of Tuesday.