North Carolina

Days of violent storms end with Blue Ridge Parkway locked in a spring deep freeze

A photo taken Sunday on the Blue Ridge Parkway, south of Asheville., N.C.
A photo taken Sunday on the Blue Ridge Parkway, south of Asheville., N.C. National Park Service photo

Waves of severe storms that brought damaging winds, hail and tornadoes to the Carolinas concluded over the weekend by putting the Blue Ridge Parkway under ice just in time for the busy Easter weekend.

The National Park Service posted a photo Sunday, showing the pavement south of Asheville (mile post 452) was frozen over and trees were laden with snow.

The post has gotten nearly 5,000 reactions, including 2,000 shares.

“Spring weather sure can be fickle here in the mountains,” the post says. “Several sections of the Parkway are closed due to snow, ice and downed trees.”

The parkway didn’t say how long it would take to clear the trees.

Six sections of the parkway were closed as of Monday morning, including the large segment north of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to a real time map. The scenic two-lane highway runs 469 miles through the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and North Carolina and ends at the Great Smoky Mountains.

The freeze came after a storm front moved through Friday, causing widespread damage throughout the Carolinas, including at least two tornadoes.

One tornado touched down about 3:30 p.m. Friday, west of Charlotte in Gaston and Lincoln counties, WBTV reported. A second tornado touched down about 40 minutes later with 90 mph winds in Alexander County, WCNC reported.

No fatalities were reported with either of the tornadoes.

However, trees fell due to the heavy winds, blocking roads, damaging homes and bringing down power lines, WBTV reported.

Spend a relaxing day in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Ashe County, N.C., located in the far north-western corner of the state. Its 427 square miles is home to countless picturesque views and dozens of quaint towns.

An elk that had roamed the mountains and Upstate of South Carolina has been captured and sent to a Lowcountry nature preserve.