First day of winter brings snow, chill to Carter

John Thompson • Dec 21, 2012 at 10:15 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The first day of winter arrived with the coldest weather of the season for Carter County.

The high winds added to dropping temperatures to bring wind chills into the teens.

Light snow began falling around 11 p.m. Thursday and provided a dusting of snow around the county. Highway Superintendent Jack Perkins said there was about two inches on the ground at the highest elevations.

The snow did not affect roads and highways over most of the county, but Perkins said roads were slippery and icy at higher elevations. On Friday, he said most of his crew were working in the Roan Mountain area, with one truck assigned to the Upper Stoney Creek area.

Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said there was one accident reportedly caused by the conditions in the higher elevations.

The weather, especially the gusts of nearly 30 miles per hour, had an impact on electrical service. Johann Coetzee, who oversees the Elizabethton Electric Department, said there were sporadic outages around the county. The biggest outage occurred Thursday night when a breaker went off behind O’Reilly Auto Parts, 500 N. Sycamore St., causing an outage over much of the city for a short time.

The conditions had a greater impact in Johnson County, where the schools were closed Friday because of the inclement weather.

While the snows were just flurries, there was little chance of melting because the highs in the lower elevations never got out of the lower 30s. That was coupled with steady northwest winds around 20 miles per hour. The highs never got out of the 20s in the higher elevations.

The forecast from the National Weather Service Office in Morristown is for a slight warming trend, with sunny skies and highs in the upper 30s Saturday and upper 40s Sunday.

Rain is back in the forecast for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with highs in the lower 50s.

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