First white Christmas in decades

Published 1:59 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Area residents didnt wake up on Christmas morning to snow, but the flakes started soon and didnt stop for the rest of the day.

The Thermal Belt experienced its first white Christmas since 1963 on Saturday. In 1963, only about two inches of snow were on the ground on Christmas. Saturdays total in Tryon was four inches of snow, and higher elevations saw a few inches more.

Extreme weather didnt stop over the weekend and into yesterday as winds and low temperatures moved into the area.

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Tryon Fire Chief Joey Davis said as of noon yesterday, Monday, Dec. 27, his department had responded to 20 calls since last Wednesday, Dec. 22, with 10 of the calls coming in yesterday morning.

Crews were called Monday morning to 386 Melrose Ave., where a tree fell on a house. Davis said no one was injured, but the tree caused structural damage to a back bedroom. The fire department also responded to several calls about fallen trees and power lines over the last several days.

The N.C. Highway Patrol and the N.C. Department of Transportation also didnt get much of a vacation over the weekend as each had extra forces on the roads. The highway patrol responded to several accidents on Christmas day in area counties, including Polk, but none were serious. Troopers said most of the wrecks were vehicles in ditches and occurred because people were driving too fast for conditions.

High winds Sunday night, Dec. 26 and Monday morning, Dec. 27 brought down trees, causing scattered power outages. Duke Energy reported 30 Polk residences out of power on Christmas day and those outages grew to 236 as of yesterday around noon. &bsp;

Winds were forecast to continue through yesterday with a high temperature of 38 degrees yesterday and an overnight low in the teens to low 20s. The rest of the week is forecast to be sunny, with temperatures increasing to a high of 60 degrees on New Years Day for the upstate.