Perdue declares state of emergency for 24 western counties; Some schools closed

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BLOWING ROCK, N.C. - Gov. Bev Perdue declared a state of emergency for 24 western counties on Monday in anticipation of a winter storm coupled with strong winds from Hurricane Sandy in the North Carolina mountains.

A winter storm warning is in effect in western North Carolina until 6 a.m. Tuesday. Strong winds and heavy snow are expected, with as much as 4 to 8 inches of snow possible.

Counties included in the declaration are: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey.

Avery County Schools will be closed on Tuesday. They were also closed on Monday.

Lees-McRae College is closed Tuesday.

Appalachian State University classes that start after 6 p.m. Monday and before 11 a.m. Tuesday were canceled.

Wautaga County schools are closed Tuesday.

Caldwell Community College is also closing at 6 p.m. Monday.

For a full list of closings, click here.