Western NC dam deemed safe; evacuation canceled

Area of North Carolina affected by flash flood warning is seen in National Weather Service tweet                        National Weather Service  Twitter

Area of North Carolina affected by flash flood warning is seen in National Weather Service tweet National Weather Service Twitter

Just before dawn Wednesday, McDowell County Emergency Management deputy director Adrienne Jones told The Associated Press that the dam had not failed, but an engineer who had inspected the scene was concerned enough to order the evacuation until the dam could be examined in daylight.

Parts of the region have been hit hard by both flooding and mudslides in multiple communities. A combination of swift water rescue and urban search and rescue teams from Greensboro, Mooresville and Charlotte are being sent to McDowell, Rutherford and Jackson counties to help with any potential rescues.

State and local officials are keeping a close watch on rivers across western NC, where several rivers are now experiencing minor flooding and the French Broad River at Blantyre is forecast to experience moderate flooding later today.

At least five people are dead since Alberto arrived in western North Carolina. The Watauga Democrat reported that first responders were asked to respond to a landslide into a single-family dwelling Wednesday afternoon resulting in "catastrophic destruction of the structure from a gas leak", according to Robbins Two persons were reported to be in the structure at the time.

A mandatory evacuation of downtown Old Fort was ordered, Tuesday night, due to extensive flooding and of the area below the Lake Tahoma Dam.

As much as eight inches of rain fell in some mountain areas in a 24-hour period.

Emergency managers evacuated 2,000 people early Wednesday after determining the Lake Tahoma dam in western North Carolina could fail. McDowell County Schools are closed Wednesday.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says the state is sending safety engineers to check on several dams in the North Carolina mountains after heavy rains from the fringes of what was Subtropical Storm Alberto.

Shelters have been set up in local churches and a YMCA.

They said the Hickory Nut Falls Campground and the Rivercreek Campground have been evacuated. Some people were able to move their campers and RVs to higher ground and park them at nearby parking lots, such as at the flea market. "The emergency at Lake Tahoma has been canceled".

One person also remains missing in Madison County, roughly 50 miles west of Fredericksburg, from the flash floods.

Alberto's heavy rains have been widespread.

"We are monitoring the weather really closely and bringing more people in place".

The Catawba River near Pleasant Gardens, near Marion, was at 14.4 feet, more than three feet above flood stage, U.S. We've heard from residents, especially business owners, here in Asheville that have seen flooding with these kinds of storms before.

Cooper also said it could potentially help draw down federal funds to fix North Carolina roads, saying the damage could be well in excess of a million dollars. The governor's office said Lake Tahoma and other dams, including Lake Lake Lure, Tuxedo and North Fork Lake are being monitored.

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