The past week has been a typical western North Carolina autumn, but all that changed late Sunday night. The clouds rolled in and the winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Sandy were felt in far western North Carolina.
I live just north of Asheville, N.C., and it was a definite drop in temperatures when the winds started blowing Sunday night. We woke (Monday) morning to heavy clouds, wind, rain and a few snow flurries. The temperatures were in the upper 30s when I left for work at 8:15 a.m. There were snow flakes mixed in with the rain, and gusts of wind were prominent.
The stores are filled with people grabbing last minute supplies just in case the weather forcasters are right and we do get hit with a foot of snow. Most of the people I talked to at the store are taking the preparations for the possibility of a large snowfall and power outages very seriously. Shelves aren't quite empty, but there are a lot of bare spots where the bottled water, milk, bread, eggs and candles usually are.
People are also lining up at the gas stations that carry kerosene to fill up their gas cans with heating oil and to make sure the tanks of their cars are full. Most people were somewhat jovial despite the impending storm and were taking things in stride. They are prepared to ride out a few days of cold and no electricity.
Ace Hardware in Weaverville along with Lowes had full parking lots and people carrying out supplies.
I also overheard a number of cellphone conversations. A lot of them were calling neighbors or friends to check and see if they needed anything or to make sure they had a way to heat the house if the electricity does fail.
The brunt of the storm won't hit until later (Monday) night. There are a large number of shelters open in downtown Asheville for the homeless or people with no way to heat without electricity. The sand trucks are being prepared and ready to move as soon as the snow starts.
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The biggest problem here will be falling trees. North Carolina has had a fairly wet summer and the soil is wet deep down. During normal weather there have been a number of trees fall due to the moist soil collapsing. The winds from this storm along with a heavy wet snow poses serious problems here with the possibility of large numbers of trees falling and taking the power lines with them.
The governor of North Carolina has declared a state of emergency for 38 North Carolina counties.
At this time, conditions in western North Carolina are beginning to deteriorate somewhat. I will continue updating for as long as we still have electricity.
Marie DeWolfe is the mother of four children, has a son-in-law and is a soon to be grandma along with being the owner of a mommy blog called Dixieland Mom Product Reviews. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org