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Red Cross Opens Four Area Shelters

Emergency Personnel are reporting near white out conditions on I-40 in McDowell County. They are asking folks to not travel unless it is a true emergency. Conditions are expected to continue to deteriorate.

As of 10:30 p.m., all lanes of I-40 Eastbound have been reopened. But travel is still not recommended.

American Red Cross officials of the Western Carolinas have opened an emergency shelter in McDowell County to help motorists who have been stranded because I-40 is closed at Old Fort Mountain. The shelter is located at the first Baptist Church of Old Fort.  Another shelter has been opened in Polk in Columbus to serve people who might be stranded on I-26 overnight at Saluda grade.

"In 1993 when we had the real bad snow the interstate got shut down, and we had to have a place for people to go," said Marche Pittman, interim City Manager in Columbus. "We're also concerned with the people in the county and having somewhere to go in case they need it."

Red Cross officials in Asheville monitored the weather throughout Wednesday night. But after reviewing conditions they decided it was not necessary to open a shelter unless there was a mass power outage or a major backup on a local highway.

By Kimberly King
Follow Kim on Twitter @KimKingReports


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