Facebook page helps drivers brave weather
An important driving tool in the High Country?
Just ask radio vet Kenneth Reece, creator of the 3,900 (as of Tuesday)-fan Watauga County Road Conditions and Weather Updates page.
"Obviously, it's a way, not only for locals, but people coming up here to ski, to check... they may not have access to other media outlets," he said.
In its first week? "We got 2,000 fans," he said.
And that was December. If that first storm keeps repeating, he sees the page having even more success. And that's a good thing, he said. After all, giving out the same information on High Country radio would be impossible.
"It would take all day long," he said.
The page allows people who have actually driven on the roads to comment, warning others of danger spots.
"Roads in Zionville are snow covered, and the snow keeps coming down hard!" Facebook user Chandler Brown posted Tuesday night.
"From Boone to Vilas, roads are beginning to be snow covered," Kim Greene Scott posted.
And it's information that's appreciated, Facebook user Casey Hartley said.
"As someone who works frontline tourism in the vacation rental industry, I have referred my guests to this if they're Facebook users, and I have referenced the page myself several times for my own use," she said. "It's a good place for us to warn others about trouble spots and answer others' questions about specific areas."
And it's not just Watauga County.
Pages are in place for Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and other counties.
"It's about keeping people safe," Reece said. "The more people 'like' it, the more effective it will be."
To become a fan, log into http://www.facebook.com and search Watauga County Road Conditions and Weather Updates.