NC Dot has released a tweet stating that they will need one week to safely clean up the 500ft area where rocks have slide onto I-40. Then the traffic will be slow going with only 1 lane open on each side for the next 6-8 weeks.
To safely cleanup a rockslide area about 500 feet wide, I-40 will need to remain closed for about one week. Then traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction for six to eight weeks through the Pigeon River Gorge near the state line. Detour: Through Johnson City.— NCDOT I-40 (@NCDOT_I40) February 23, 2019
Other Slides Cant Be Ruled Out
Rainfall will continue through the next day or so, but the front will finally move through Sunday afternoon. Winds will pick up around WNC and some higher elevation locations could see gusts over 50mph Sunday afternoon and into Monday. Slopes around the area are very weak, and high winds could bring down trees all across the area.
High Winds Create Power Outage Concern
With the soil so wet around the area, winds that are gusting above 35mph will bring trees down all across WNC. Please be mindful of this, and know that you could lose power over the next 36 hours. Below you can see the most recent Nam 3km wind gust map on Sunday afternoon.
Cold Returns Next Week
Cananda air will move into WNC on Monday morning, and we will once again dip below freezing. In fact, some locations could dip well below freezing and into the mid 20’s. This will cause problems with trees that have been fooled into believing it is already Spring. I am worried that tree blooms this year are going to suffer, because much of March looks to be setting up to be below average. I have my eye on next week, and long range models are hinting at the potential for another storm, but thats all I will say about it for now. Stay tuned to AshevilleWX, and check back soon for another update!