The mountains were blanketed in snow over the holiday weekend in what is believed to be the first white Christmas the Plateau has seen in a decade.
Christmas Day throughout Highlands.
A winter wonderland in the mountains may look gorgeous, but road and emergency crews had their hands full responding to calls over the holiday, including a landslide on Highway 64 and Chowan Road near On the Verandah restaurant.
The landslide was reported around 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve and is believed to have started with a falling tree that ended up bringing down several large rocks and a powerline along with it, leaving everything strewn throughout the road.
“A large tree fell due to winds and saturated soil, causing the embankment to slide with the stump,” said Highlands Public Works Director Lamar Nix.
Nix added that a contract crew has been working to clean up the location throughout the week.
In preparation for the winter weather over the weekend, Nix said Town crews began treating the roads early afternoon on Christmas Eve.
He said the snow came in waves and made the roads slick, and soon the sidewalks had to be treated as well.
Highlands Fire & Rescue Chief Ryan Gearhart said they were busy throughout the weekend, including reports of car accidents, and downed trees and power lines. He added that icy roads contributed to the car accidents.
In terms of preparation for incoming snow, Gearhart said all they can really do is put the cables on the tires (they don’t use chains on tires as much anymore).