Monday Asheville snow update: NWS extends winter storm warning after overnight snow
ASHEVILLE — On Monday morning, some Asheville residents awoke after a snowy weekend to even more snow.
The National Weather Service on Monday extended its winter storm warning through 2 p.m., with additional accumulations of snow and sleet of up to 2 inches expected for the Western North Carolina mountains.
Here are the weekend accumulation totals from around the region: Snow totals: 11 inches in Asheville, over 18 inches in parts of WNC — National Weather Service
Meanwhile, most main roads in Buncombe County are clear of snow, though icy spots persist, according to the latest available from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Main roads are passable in most counties surrounding Buncombe, though Polk County's main thoroughfares remain partially covered with snow and ice, the NCDOT said.
Crews continued pushing snow and fallen trees from interstates and primary highways through Sunday. Transportation officials continued to recommend limiting travel.
The storm toppled an estimated 1,000 trees in several mountain counties including Jackson, Haywood, Transylvania, Polk and Rutherford.
Junior Bonilla and Elizabeth Pietzsch help push JJ Thompson out of the snow in West Asheville Dec. 9, 2018. It was the third vehicle Bonilla helped dig out of the snow. The Citizen-Times
City snow removal
In Asheville, snow removal is progressing.
Public Works snow removal crews were able to clear priority-1 roads Sunday, and continued work on priority-2 roads overnight, according to the City of Ashevillle's frequently updated blog, Asheville City Source.
Find your street's status on this snow removal priority map.
The city is asking drivers to stay off of the roads, and use extreme caution if travel is essential. Refreezing is expected tonight, with temperatures dipping below freezing again as early as 8 p.m. Overnight lows will be in the 20s.
City bus service resumed at noon, with modified routes. Details here. Service runs until 5 p.m., with no Tuesday start time set as of Monday afternoon.
Roads to worsen
In a late-Monday morning winter weather media briefing held by Gov. Roy Cooper, NCDOT Deputy Secretary Bobby Lewis said to expect black ice Tuesday morning. "So please stay off the roadways."
Col. Glenn McNeill, commander of the N.C. State Highway Patrol, reported 672 collisions during the storm. He hoped that number would not grow.
“Don’t assume that because a road has been scraped, it is free from hazards," he cautioned. “Maintain a safe speed as you have to go out and travel. Our roads are dangerous. Black ice can sneak up in a moment.”
Even as the weekend's winter storm wound down, thousands remained without power in Western North Carolina.
As of Monday mid-morning, 7,900 households were still affected by outages in Buncombe County, with 4,700 Henderson County households without power.
Madison County, however, was "looking good," said Erin Culbert, a spokeswoman for Duke Energy. As of 9:30 a.m., only one Madison County customer appeared to be without power.
In the state, 125,700 remained without power as of mid-morning Monday. More than 300,000 customers had already had power restored by crews working through the weekend and overnight, Culbert said.
"We appreciate the patience of our customers, who are personally dealing with the impacts of the storm," said Duke Energy Storm Director Jason Hollifield in a release. "We are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to our affected areas."
Among the counties hit hardest with outages were Buncombe; Haywood; Henderson; Jackson; Macon; Mecklenburg; Polk; Rutherford; Transylvania and Wake.
Heavy winter precipitation toppled trees into power lines, with cars hitting power poles and other electrical equipment. More precipitation Monday morning complicated things.
The company typically requires 12-24 hours to assess damage from a significant weather event, even while simultaneously restoring power.