Blue Ridge Parkway officials closed two sections of the scenic road Friday night out of fear they could ice over.

The gates were closed across the parkway from Mount Mitchell south to just past Craggy Gardens and from Balsam Gap south to Soco Gap, a dispatcher said. The sections were expected to reopen Saturday after any ice that formed Friday night melted.``It was closed as a precaution,' the dispatcher said. Ice was forming on vegetation in those two areas, and a few degrees' drop in temperature could mean the roads would ice up as well, the spokesman said.

On Mount Mitchell, temperatures dropped to 23 degrees, and Mount Pisgah recorded a low temperature of 25 degrees, the National Weather Service reported.

Despite ice on vegetation and cold conditions at the higher elevations, Friday's rain, which dropped at least a half-inch of water on most western North Carolina counties, had no chance of turning into snow, a weather service spokesman said.

North Carolina also escaped the flash-flood warnings issued in upstate South Carolina and northern Georgia.

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