At 5 p.m Thursday: No electrical outages were reported in Wilkes.
Forecast revised: Shortly before noon Thursday, the National Weather Service canceled its winter storm warning for Wilkes, Surry and Yadkin counties and replaced it with a winter weather advisory. The winter weather advisory is in effect until 1 a.m. Friday. The NWS forecast still calls for freezing rain, but with a light glaze rather than heavy accumulation. The NWS warned people to look out for slippery sidewalks, roads and bridges and possibly a hazardous evening commute.
At noon Thursday, Duke Energy was reporting only two customers in Wilkes without electricity. Both were on Taylor Lane, which is near N.C. 18 North in McGrady. Iredell County had about 4,000 customers without electricity and Yadkin County had about 1,200. No electric membership corporations serving parts of Wilkes reported any outages here at noon.
At 9 a.m. Thursday, Duke Energy was reporting nearly 650 customers in Wilkes County without electricity. They included 254 in the northwestern section of North Wilkesboro and 390 in the Windy Gap area of the Little Brushy Mountains. The area of North Wilkesboro without electricity extends from D Street to just before Haunted Branch Road near the town limits, including Wilkes Medical Center. The hospital has auxiliary power. Also this morning, North Wilkesboro Town Hall was closed as previously announced, while Wilkesboro Town Hall and the Wilkes County Office Building are open. County Manager John Yates said plans for the remainder of the work day would depend on conditions.
Wednesday evening: A winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) for Wilkes and other area counties remains in effect from 7 p.m. Wednesday to 1 a.m. Friday. Freezing rain is expected to start after midnight Wednesday and continue, possibly mixed with snow, before becoming entirely rain Thursday afternoon. Colder air could bring more frozen precipitation Thursday night. The NWS said power outages and tree damage are likely and travel could be nearly impossible in parts of northwest North Carolina. Duke Energy said widespread power outages are expected.
A Wilkes Health Department COVID-19 first dose vaccination clinic at Lowe’s Park at River’s Edge that was moved from Thursday to Saturday has been canceled because of weather-related vaccine shipment delays statewide and nationwide, announced the health department.
According to an announcement on the Wilkes County Schools website, Wilkes schools are closed Thursday for students and teachers. The announcement said 11- and 12-month employees who decide to work shouldn’t report before 10 a.m. Thursday.
North Wilkesboro Town Manager Wilson Hooper said town crews began treating downtown sidewalks Wednesday afternoon and town streets that evening. Hooper said crews will be on call Thursday to scrape and treat roads as needed. He said North Wilkesboro Town Hall will be closed Thursday for the safety of town employees. Garbage collection scheduled Thursday was delayed to Friday to avoid having sanitation staff work in icy conditions, he added. “Residents are encouraged to stay home and off the roads for the duration of the storm. Residents may sign up for power outage alerts, and report outages to Duke Energy, at https://www.duke-energy.com/outages/alerts,” said Hooper.