Published: Fri, June 01, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Lake Tahoma dam deemed safe, mandatory evacuations canceled

Lake Tahoma dam deemed safe, mandatory evacuations canceled

Flash flood watches were in effect for parts of several states from Alabama through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, the Carolinas and Virginia and West Virginia.

Elsewhere, four North Carolina dams being closely watched by a state team of special engineers were holding up, Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday. "A compulsory evacuation is taking place", the National Weather Service said on Twitter.

Officials in McDowell County reported that widespread flooding was being caused by heavy rainfall of 4-6 inches over the past 24 hours. She said five minor injuries have been reported during water rescues as creeks and streams overflowed their banks and rock slides closed roads.

In the North Carolina mountain town of Boone, one of those mudslides was blamed for a gas leak and explosion that destroyed a home Wednesday afternoon, killing two people.

Emergency management reports numerous areas of flash flooding and landslides across McDowell county Tuesday night.

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More rain is expected to fall over the next few days due to the remnants of the subtropical depression Alberto moving through the Carolinas, resulting in the possibility for more flooding.

There was also a mandatory evacuation of downtown Old Fort in McDowell County because of flooding, the governor's office said.

The National Weather Service tweeted early Wednesday that rainfall records were broken in some areas, including almost 1.76 inches of rain that fell in 24 hours at the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport.

NC Emergency Management said McDowell County has experienced the most significant flooding since 2004 during Hurricane Frances.

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

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Alberto made landfall Monday afternoon as a subtropical storm in the Florida Panhandle, reaching maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour as it arrived in Laguna Beach, according to the hurricane center.

More than 20 agencies are assisting McDowell County with emergency calls including those from Avery, Catawba, Caldwell, Mitchell, Mecklenburg, and Guilford counties, as well as NCDOT, SHP, U.S. Forest Service and N.C. Forest Service.

Lake Tahoma is a private lake in the mountains. But given previously soaked ground, the propensity for runoff, and the greater likelihood of heavier downpours developing longer and perhaps lighter rain of longer duration, areas along and east of the Blue Ridge are the focus for the highest risk of potential flash flooding again today.

In the town of Tryon, near the SC border, a woman was killed last Friday after being trapped in a mudslide near her home, WLOS reported.

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