Pilot Mountain News

Winds disrupt county

High winds have caused a swath of destruction across the county, leaving 9,000 homes without power and an estimated 200 fallen trees, according to John Shelton, county emergency services director.

Wind gusts of 52 mph were recorded in Lowgap and 49 mph in Mount Airy, according to Nick Fillo, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Virginia.

“Those speeds were common across the county,” said Fillo. A “high-wind warning” was issued for the county, along with several other counties in Northwest North Carolina and Southwest Virginia.

“A high wind warning is issued when we expect winds to reach or exceed 58 mph, which is 50 knots,” said Fillo. “At that speed, damage is expected — power outages and trees blown away.”

“Trees are falling one after another,” said Shelton, estimating at noon that 200 trees had come down since the night before. “Several houses have been damaged by trees, and several areas are without power.”

“The fire departments are all out,” said Shelton. “Rescue teams are out there. We’re all cutting trees.”

“I take my hat off to all the volunteers who are out there cutting trees, and helping DOT to get them out of the way,” said Shelton.

Meteorologist Fillo predicted that winds will gradually settle down into the evening as the low pressure system causing the high wind moves away.

Jimmy Stewart took this photo on Ararat Longhill Road where a fallen tree just missed his neighbor’s home.
https://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_28643040_10215741919561884_1937383882_o-1.jpgJimmy Stewart took this photo on Ararat Longhill Road where a fallen tree just missed his neighbor’s home. Submitted photo | The News
This tree fell on Dolly Lane, falling between the garage in the photo and the adjacent house, shadow seen in the foreground.
https://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Dolly-Lane-1.jpgThis tree fell on Dolly Lane, falling between the garage in the photo and the adjacent house, shadow seen in the foreground. Submitted photo | Dena Dollyhigh
Multiple trees fell in the Laurel Creek development near U.S. 52.
https://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_28537707_2080927905267165_2026334391_n-1.jpgMultiple trees fell in the Laurel Creek development near U.S. 52. Submitted photo | Leslie Mills
High winds brought down this tree on Country Club Road.
https://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Holly-Rees-1.jpgHigh winds brought down this tree on Country Club Road. Submitted photo | Leslie Mills

By Bill Colvard

bcolvard@MtAiryNews.com

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.