As high winds moved in overnight, Asheville Public Works crews began clearing roads of debris. This morning crews are still hard at work helping to ensure a smooth and safe commute for City residents.
With Asheville under a high-wind warning, additional personnel were assigned overnight said Public Works Director Greg Shuler. Public Works crews have been split up into 12-hour shifts for storm clean-up — a day side and a night side shift. So far, the north and west sides of the City appear to have been hit hardest by the winds. Shuler reported that there has been some minor flooding on a couple of NCDOT roads.
“Last night it got really busy,” Shuler said. “Sometimes you have cut trees or limbs up to open the road, then go open another one.”
As for down trees, limbs, and the power lines that is another matter. At least 15,000 people in the Asheville area were without power this morning, according to the Duke Energy outage map
“Overnight our night crew had 20-30 trees down, some of which were cleared from the road, some of which have power lines involved,” said Chad Bandy Interim Program Manager – Transportation. “As daylight has hit and people are calling we have probably got another 10 already.”
While crews have steadily addressed down trees, the debris on the side of the road that must be addressed later.“Today, the brush side of sanitation is working closely with our tree folks to remove bush as quickly,” Shuler said. He characterized the debris clean-up as on the light side. “We were very lucky,” he added.
Riverside Cemetery gates were closed today because of downed limbs from last night’s storm. Staff has now cleared the debris and all roads in the historic cemetery are now open.
If you see a tree down in the road or a tree on power lines, call 911, or you can call the City of Asheville customer service line at 828-251-1122. Stay clear of any downed power lines in particular.
According to the National Weather Service, there is an 80 percent chance of rain today, tapering off to a 30 percent chance of rain tonight. The high wind warning has expired.
Here is link to the predicted inland storm track by the National Hurricane Center: Irma storm track.