Heavy snow still possible in western NC

Associated Press Published: October 30, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Snow is still falling in some parts of western North Carolina, with the National Weather Service warning that heavy snow is possible in the winter onslaught spawned by the merger of artic air with superstorm Sandy.

On the state's western border with Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park spokeswoman Dana Soehn reported 22 inches of snow at the highest elevations, with strong winds blowing drifts up to 4 feet deep.

Roads are closed throughout the park and a handful of hikers coming off sections of the Appalachian Trial on Tuesday morning reporting tangles of fallen trees and waist-deep drifts.

"We don't know exactly how many people are still up there, but we've not received any distress calls," Soehn said. "It's that heavy, wet snow, so it is difficult to plow."

Forecasters said Tuesday morning that snowfall in the western North Carolina mountains totaled as much as five inches so far. Only Jefferson in Ashe County was reporting snow at 6 a.m.

Icy roads were reported in Madison, Yancey, Mitchell and Avery counties. Much of the Blue Ridge Parkway in western North Carolina is closed.

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