Concerns of Black Ice Follow First Winter Storm of Season

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Banner Elk, NC–The windshield wipers on Joey and Liam Mim’s SUV were working once again after they started having problems near Beech Mountain.

“The windshield wipers were frozen, so we had to splash some bottled water on there just to see the roads,” said Joey Mims.

The visitors from Jacksonville, Florida are glad they got chains for their car. They helped them with the slick roads they had to deal with right in the middle of their five-day ski trip. 

“We’ve seen this storm coming in, and knew it was gonna get pretty bad but just had no idea how bad,” said Liam Mims.

Snow plows patrolled roads around the clock before, during, and after the storm. Workers were asked to report early for work and use heavy equipment and machinery that was on standby across Watauga County. Road crews say today’s sunshine helped melt the snow and ice, but there
could still be more problems. 

“We’ll be here through the night monitoring the situation and applying materials as needed” said Wautauga County Maintenance Engineer Kevin Whittington.

Sugar Mountain was partially open today after a dusting of five inches of new snow last night.
Resort officials expect to fully open this weekend. 

“Right now with the wind not blowing and the sun out… it feels a lot warmer than it is,” said Sugar Mountain’s Len Bauer.  Skiers and snowboarders were bundled up and undetered by the chilly weather.

“It’s supposed to be cold to ski!” said Denver, NC resident Eileen Cosmala.

Road crews say there are a number of areas in the mountains that didn’t get any sun today where the snow and ice didn’t melt. For that reason, they are hoping drivers use extreme caution.