Written by Adam Hicks
Tuesday, 29 December 2009 04:47
According to Avery County’s Emergency Management Coordinator David Vance, around 1,000 Mountain Electric customers are still without power today after the Christmas Day ice storm.
Vance said it could be two to three more days before all Mountain Electric customers have their power restored.
Vance said most Avery County residents have electricity, but there are areas around Jonas Ridge, Crossnore, Pineola, Newland, and others that are still without power.
Vance said one thing that will help residents get their power restored quicker would be to have their meter boxes reattached to their home if it has fallen off. Residents must call an electrician to have it put back onto the house in order to have power restored to their home.
Avery County, like Watauga County, has been under a State of Emergency since the snowstorm on the weekend of December 18. Vance said Avery County issued the State of Emergency so more state resources would be available for the county to use.
While calling in the National Guard for help in Avery County is a possibility, Vance said he highly doubts the county will request assistance. He said National Guard members can’t legally touch the power lines. That has to be done by certified power companies.
Vance said that numerous contracted power companies have been brought into Avery County to help Mountain Electric crews as they deal with downed power lines and poles.
Executive Director of the Watauga County of the American Red Cross, Sonny Sweet, said the emergency shelter at the Newland Fire Department has been put on standby, but the shelter at the Valle Crucis Conference Center is up and running. Any Avery or Watauga County resident is welcome to stay at the shelter. Sweet said there are plenty of bunks, food, and baths for the public’s use.
Anyone who needs to contact the American Red Cross can call the Watauga County Chapter at (828) 264-8226.
Vance said any Avery County resident who has a downed tree in their neighborhood or in their driveway should call (828) 733-3858. Vance said someone will be available to take calls around the clock.
High Country Radio has tried to contact Mountain Electric several times, but we have been unsuccessful.