Winter storm prompts city to declare state of emergency

·3 min read

Mayor Barbara Volk declared a state of emergency in Hendersonville on Jan. 14 ahead of Winter Storm Izzy, set to bring snow, sleet and low temperatures to the city.

Volk's declaration comes on the heels of Gov. Roy Cooper's declaration of a state of emergency Jan. 13 for the storm expected to impact Western North Carolina through Jan. 16.

With the potential for power outages, hazardous travel conditions and downed trees, the declaration went into effect midnight on Jan. 15, according to the proclamation, triggering the ability to take measures addressing those conditions.

The state of emergency remains in effect until Volk declares it over, the proclamation says, as forecasts from the National Weather Service predicted anywhere from 2-15 inches of snow across Saturday night and Sunday in the area.

Hendersonville Mayor Barbara Volk has declared a state of emergency ahead of Winter Storm Izzy, set to bring snow, sleet and ice to the region with expected power outages and other disruptions.
Hendersonville Mayor Barbara Volk has declared a state of emergency ahead of Winter Storm Izzy, set to bring snow, sleet and ice to the region with expected power outages and other disruptions.

"This storm will bring significant impacts from snow, sleet and freezing rain in different parts of the state, with likely power outages and travel disruptions," Cooper said in a release announcing his declaration of a state of emergency. "North Carolinians should pay close attention to their local weather forecasts over the next few days, and make sure they are personally prepared before Saturday afternoon."

The city began preparing for the storm Jan. 14, including brining all city-maintained roads, according to an announcement.

Related reporting: What to know ahead of Asheville major winter storm, Gov. declares state of emergency

Crews were expected to begin snow removal operations late Saturday, depending on the amount of snow accumulation, a process it says can extend into next week.

Residents are asked not to park on streets, giving staff more room to push snow out of the road, reducing the risk of accidents and increasing the efficiency of snow plowing.

At times, sections of Main Street and other downtown avenues will be closed during snow removal. The city is divided into five zones for snow removal, according to the announcement, with priority streets around emergency services buildings, the hospital and streets with bridges and steep hills.

The prioritization maps and which roads are maintained by the state Department of Transportation are available at www.hvlnc.gov/snow-and-ice-removal.

Emergency personnel recommend monitoring local weather reports and limiting travel before weather conditions begin to deteriorate, and staying home once road conditions become unsafe.

Water and sewer crews with the city have topped off generators at fuel treatment plants and pump stations, with crews on standby in the event of power outages, the city says, and customers are encouraged to include bottled water with emergency preparations in case water service is interrupted in relation to the storm.

More: 'Wintry mess' in forecast for Henderson County this weekend

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning across Western North Carolina and the Upstate, warning of "heavy mixed precipitation" and "8 to 12 inches along and near the Blue Ridge Escarpment, and 12 to 20 inches at elevations above 4,000 feet."

"Travel could be very difficult to impossible," the warning states, with potential ice accumulations of one-tenth of an inch possible, and wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour.

The warning expires Jan. 17 at 8 a.m.

Derek Lacey covers environment, growth and development for the Asheville Citizen Times. Reach him at DLacey@gannett.com or 828-417-4842 and find him on Twitter @DerekAVL.

This article originally appeared on Hendersonville Times-News: Hendersonville, NC declare states of emergency ahead of winter storm

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