Winter storm Jonas hits Jackson County

Updated 11:12 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 23

Road conditions worsened overnight into Saturday morning, Jan. 23, causing hazardous conditions for drivers, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said in a press conference.

The below-freezing temperatures allowed water on the roads to re-freeze creating black ice among other hazardous conditions. In Jackson County, temperatures Saturday will not rise above freezing all day, according to Local Yokel Weather.

Since midnight Saturday, the North Carolina Highway Patrol (NCHP) has responded to 406 collisions and 659 calls for service, NCHP Commander Col. William Grey said at a press conference around 11 a.m. Saturday.

Over 130 National Guard members were called out to assist stranded motorists and ambulances transporting patients, the governor said.

McCrory continues to urge drivers to stay off the roads, help out your neighbors and be patient. The governor confirmed six total weather-related fatalities.


Winter Storm Jonas came blowing in Friday, Jan. 22, in the early morning hours with rain that turned into sleet and snow, according to Local Yokel Weather. Six inches of snow accumulated in Cullowhee Friday.

“The snow will continue on and off throughout the day with a heavier band of snow moving in overnight into Saturday, allowing for additional accumulations,” a representative from Local Yokel Weather said in an email.Image-1

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a winter storm warning Thursday for Western North Carolina that remains in effect until 7 a.m. Sunday. NWS forecasts 10 to 15 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 40 mph.

Jackson County emergency management director, Todd Dillard, issued a state of emergency around 7 a.m. Friday morning, which calls in all first responders as needed.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory issued a state of emergency on Thursday.

Hardly any milk left at Walmart in Sylva due to Jonas. Photo by Mary Mazzucco.

Hardly any milk left at Walmart in Sylva due to the storm. Photo by Mary Mazzucco.

“Given the snow and ice accumulations that are predicted, combined with gusty winds and already saturated grounds, this storm has serious potential,” said McCrory. “Ice accumulations of one quarter inch or more can weaken tree limbs and lead to downed power lines. Needless to say, we’re watching this storm very carefully.”

Duke energy reported multiple power outages in Western North Carolina.

North Carolina Emergency Management reported 6,200 outages state-wide as of noon Friday.



Jackson County Emergency Management asks all residents to take precautions for the storm such as having bottled water, first-aid kits, flashlights and radios with batteries to listen for updates.

Dillard said residents should stay off the roads if they can and to avoid calling 911 unless it’s for an emergency. People needing storm-related information or non-emergency help are asked to call 828-631-HELP (4357).

The checkout lines in Walmart were spilling into the store Thursday, Jan. 21. Photo by Bradley Lucore.

The checkout lines in Walmart were spilling into the store Thursday, Jan. 21. Photo by Bradley Lucore.

Western Carolina University canceled all classes for Friday, Jan. 22, and issued an email statement to students Friday morning discouraging travel. For more information on WCU weather-related closings go to

Before the storm hit, residents and WCU college students swarmed into local stores, like Walmart and Ingles, vying for supplies Thursday afternoon. The milk and bread aisles were cleared out before anything else.

We will continue to update this page as we receive information.

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