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Winter Storm Blasts Western North Carolina

Mother Nature was in a teasing mode for much of Wednesday with light and variable snow showers but as evening approached and the temperatures dropped a couple of degrees the snow has increased in intensity and is no longer melting on contact. Roads that were mostly clear all day have become treacherous, schools have already announced their closure for Thursday. County Emergency Services Director Todd Dillard said that plans are being made to have a shelter open should conditions worsen and the power go off. Dan Shaffer, Director of Maintenance for the town of Sylva reported that at 5:00 o’clock there were no power outages and no fallen trees were reported and all streets are open. He also reported that crews would be working all night to respond to emergencies. WestCare EMS Services have responded to numerous calls. Citizens are reminded that when shoveling snow to not overdo it, especially if one is not accustomed to such physical labor. This is one of the leading causes of heart attacks in the winter. Fire Departments have had a busy day mostly with traffic control around wrecks. Wrecks on Catamount Gap has kept several departments busy. A wreck in the Whittier area caused damage to a utility pole which required a replacement. An chemical spill in Webster led to the call out of the local Has Mat team. Highway crews have been staged since Tuesday afternoon to work the highways with chemicals and truck mounted scrape blades to try to keep snow from accumulating on the major highways. The storm has also forced the rescheduling of the WCU versus Chattanooga men’s league basketball game from Thursday till Friday.