Freezing rain in Blowing Rock leaves roads icy

Ice coated trees branches and power lines Thursday in Watauga County. It may have looked like a winter wonderland, but the weather presented some headaches for neighbors.

Around 2:35 p.m., Blue Ridge Energy reported over 5,000 power outages in Watauga County. Parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway were also closed for down trees and slippery road conditions.

“This was not what we expected when we were coming into town,” said Tom Howe. “But we are trying to make the best of it… dodging branches.”

Howe and his wife Kami don’t have a case of cold feet. They made the trip from Greensboro to Blowing Rock to celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary. The pair thought they would be hiking, but instead they were welcomed by some freezing rain and a lot of ice.

“When we called a restaurant we said, ‘Is it icy?’ And they said, ‘No you’re fine you just want to not walk under big trees.’ We didn’t know what that meant. Now we know why,” said Tom Howe.

It seemed like every two minutes, icicles would fall off buildings or tree branches.

“The sound of crashing glass is everywhere,” said Kami Howe.

But not everyone was a fan of the freeze.

“No snow angels for us,” said Aaron Burkey. “Maybe we’ll sit in the hot tub and watch it snow.”

But Tom and Kami topped off the day with ice cream and sprinkles of snow.

“He got peppermint,” said Kami Howe. “Very seasonal.”

“This is a memory we will have for a while,” chimed in Tom.