Crews Assessing Flood Damage Across Western NC, Canton Sustains Severe Damage
Updated at 10 a.m. Wednesday
Emergency crews are assessing damage across western North Carolina Wednesday morning, after floods ravaged several parts of the area after the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred passed through the region.
Haywood County emergency officials will be holding a press conference at noon to give the latest after the town of Canton sustained damages Tuesday after the Pigeon River flooded.
At 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, U.S. 19/23 was closed in both directions due to a landslide near Bridge Road near Canton, and N.C. Department of Transportation officials estimate it could remain that way for the rest of the week.
On the state's real-time traffic website, the state estimates the cleanup of the slide will take until Friday afternoon. Meanwhile U.S. 64 is closed in both directions in two different places in Henderson County because of flooding - at Pressley Road, and again at Slick Rock Road.
U.S. 70 is closed in both directions in Swannanoa at Warren Wilson Road because of flooding. The Swannanoa Fire Department and Buncombe County Emergency Services are advising people in the Grovemont Community to stay in place because of the flooding. Those who need assistance are asked to call the Swannanoa Fire Department's non-emergency line at 828-686-3335. Elsewhere in Buncombe County, a temporary shelter has been opened at Trinity Baptist Church at 216 Shelburne Street in Asheville.
(7:00 p.m. Tuesday) Haywood County has announced a state of emergency. Haywood County Health and Human Services is updating a list of roads closures because of flooding and slides. This includes I-40 Westbound which is down to one-lane at the 36.5 mile marker.
Those who need to emergency shelter can go to Tuscola High School (564 Tuscola School Rd, Waynesville, NC 28786) or Canton First Baptist Church (74 Academy St, Canton, NC 28716).
(6:30 p.m. Tuesday) Emergency crews had to rescue trapped motorists after flooding caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred stranded cars along Smokey Park Highway in Candler.
Fire Departments across Western North Carolina are urging motorists to stay off the roads as much as possible, and to not try to travel through flooded roadways. Rain is expected to continue through the evening, and heavier flooding than earlier forecast is now expected. The French Broad River near Rosman in Transylvania County was near its record level just after 6 p.m. Tuesday. Flooding was also occurring along the Pigeon River near Canton in Haywood County. Both had earlier declared states of emergency due to the weather.
Duke Energy was reporting just around 19-thousand customers without power Tuesday evening. The largest outages were around Biltmore Forest and Fletcher. (Duke Energy outage map can be found here) Rain is in the forecast through the evening.
(5:30 p.m. Tuesday) Minor flooding occurred Tuesday afternoon in various portions of Western North Carolina, as the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred passed through the region. It comes two days after very heavy rainfall also caused minor flooding.
The National Weather Service in Greenville issued flash flood warnings for parts of 10 different counties in Western North Carolina, as multiple rivers hit minor flood stage Tuesday afternoon. That includes the French Broad River in both Transylvania County near Rosman, and in Henderson County near Fletcher. The French Broad is also forecast to go above minor flood stage near Asheville and Marshall overnight according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. (Check the latest on river levels here) The Swannanoa River around Biltmore Village, an area that commonly sees flooding after major rain storms, is also forecast to see minor flooding overnight. Flood waters in most of the region are expected to peak Wednesday morning or early Wednesday afternoon.
Both Transylvania and Haywood Counties declared state of emergencies due to the rainfall. Transylvania did so Monday, shortly after Sunday's storm that dumped up to 10 inches of rain in parts of the county. Fred is expected to dump up to 9 inches in some places in Transylvania as well.
U.S. 19/74 through the Nantahala Gorge closed Tuesday because of landslides. The N.C. Department of Transportation estimated about 15-20 trees and around 20 'tandem-axle dump truck loads of material' cover the road. The Nantahala Gorge has been closed by landslides routinely in recent years following any major rainstorm.
Buncombe County announced its offices would close at 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon due to the weather. That meant the county board of commissioners meeting scheduled for 5 had to be postponed. It will now be held Wednesday at noon. Commissioners are scheduled to vote then on reinstituting an indoor mask requirement for public buildings and facilities. It can be watched live on the Buncombe County Facebook page.
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