Storm Dumps Snow in N.C. Mountains; Churns Coastal Waters
MOUNT PISGAH, N.C. (AP) _ Children built springtime snowmen and adults skied on closed sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway as an unusually late storm dumped 4 feet of snow at higher elevations of the southern Appalachians.
Nearly 50 inches of snow had fallen atop Mount Pisgah since Wednesday before the precipitation turned to rain today, the National Weather Service said. Twenty miles away in Asheville, 2,000 feet lower, the storm brought only rain.
The storm stranded guests at the Pisgah Inn on the scenic parkway, 700 feet from the top of the 5,749-foot mountain, but the hotel had plenty of supplies and its own generator, said general manager Bruce O’Connell.
Slippery roads and downed power lines stalled at least two buses, in one case trapping a busload of Pisgah High School students between downed lines in front and a tree that crashed behind it.
Officials on Mount Mitchell, the tallest peak east of the Rockies at 6,684 feet, reported 22 inches of snow.
″We’ve got all kinds of snow up here,″ said R. Bryan McDaniel, the innkeeper at Beech Alpen Inn on Beech Mountain. ″It’s something. It’s beautiful.″
Area ski slopes shut down in mid-March.
″We’ve had more snow since they closed the slopes than we did all season,″ McDaniel said.
Snow also fell Thursday at higher elevations of northern Georgia.
Along the coast, wind-driven sand blanketed a stretch of N.C. 12 between Salvo and Oregon Inlet in Dare County, and a heavy-surf advisory docked boats all along the Outer Banks. Winds also disrupted coastal area ferry service.