This weekend, Western North Carolina is expecting a winter storm to arrive on Saturday evening around 7pm EST. It has been rumored that Asheville and many other counties will receive up to 22 inches of snow along with rain and sleet. Many students are anxious with excitement for the snow hoping for no school the following week.
Citizens of Asheville were given a warning to stay home and stock up on food before the storm had even reached the mountains on Thursday and Friday. The snow was long anticipated by many on Friday evening, but did not arrive until around 12 PM Saturday when a rain shower began in Asheville and continued throughout the day until a light snow began later that day. The snow on Saturday began at around 5 PM and lasted all night until 9 AM Sunday morning, when thousands of people woke up to find a winter wonderland outside of their home. The snow continued all day, some areas of Western North Carolina received up to 3 feet of snow in the first 48 hours of the storm. Asheville was expected to receive between 8-12 inches according to Citizens Times, but many woke up on Sunday to almost a foot of snow, the storm left many stuck and unable to leave their home after the storm. Those who could leave their homes took advantage of the snow and went to the local ski slopes at Cataloochee ski area in Maggie Valley, NC; only a 40 minute drive.
After the main parts of the storm hit Asheville, thousands of people had no power and were told they wouldn't have power for up to a week. On Monday December 10, snow began melting and main roads and highways were clear enough to travel short distances, Residents were still told to stay inside due to the temperatures dropping below freezing and refreezing the melted snow, creating black ice on roads and sidewalks all around the city. Many schools were also closed after the weekend, some schools were closed till Wednesday. On Wednesday December 12 the majority of the snow storm had melted and only back roads were still snowy and icy. Locals all around began to have power in their homes again between Tuesday and Wednesday, and some were able to return back to school and work. Asheville City Schools started back on Thursday, 12/13 with a 3 hour delay.
Western North Carolina and South Carolina are still working to get the areas affected back to normal after winter storm Diego came through this past weekend leaving many stuck in their homes. Some areas of North Carolina including Asheville are still under a special weather statement put out by the National weather Service . City workers have been working very hard to scrape main roads and highways and putting out snow salt on sidewalks all around cities and public areas to keep citizens in Asheville safe after the snow.
Story by Barret Bryson