BOONE, N.C. — People in the mountains and foothills of North Carolina are packing grocery stores and running last-minute errands as the region prepares to potentially receive heavy snow.
NC DOT crews have been clearing roads and laying down salt brine in preparation for what's forecasted as a major snow storm for the mountains.
First Warn chief meteorologist Brad Panovich said the mountains could get 14-20 inches of snow. Along I-40, 9-14.
With all roads in the mountains once again deemed "passable" by the North Carolina DOT, Boone Fire Marshal Amy Flieg said people should spend the next few days getting ready for the weekend weather.
"We've got plenty of warning that the storm is coming," Flieg said. "Please plan for possibly being stuck at home for 72 hours without power."
Blue Ridge Energy crews spent Friday preparing their trucks while completing regularly-scheduled work.
"Just making sure we have plenty of materials on the trucks," Crew leader Scott Dula said. "All of our trucks are stocked up, fueled up, tire chains, all of our safety gear."
In the past two days, people have been crowding grocery stores to stock up on essential items, though places like the Harris Teeter in Boone still had enough bread on its shelves.
Kerri Sullivan is stocking up on food and wood. He's one of many in town with long, winding driveways that can freeze over into a sheet of ice.
"I'm finding this good because I'm retired, and I don't have to get out and go to work in the morning," Sullivan said. "I really have a lot of sympathy for people that have to deal with this Monday morning."
While some view the snow as an inconvenience, others see it as income. Appalachian Ski Mountain's Brad Moretz said the early winter weather has already made for a successful start to ski and snowboard season.
"With all this snow, all this snow we've got on the ground, what's coming [this weekend], everyone knows that skiing is going to be great over the Christmas holidays," Moretz said.
Already this year, schools in the mountains have canceled several days of classes.
In fact, Watauga County set a new record for most pre-December cancellations.
School districts are expected to announce inclement weather plans for Monday later this weekend.