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The Dam in the Western North Carolina Is “At Risk of Imminent Failure”: Two People Died
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The Dam in the Western North Carolina Is “At Risk of Imminent Failure”: Two People Died

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NORTH CAROLINA — May 30, 2018

Incessant heavy rains and a landslide put a dam in western North Carolina on the brink of failure.

According to emergency management officials, the evacuation of NC's residents and businesses that are situated downstream has already started, as water has begun spilling around the sides of the Lake Tahoma dam.

Officials say the dam is “at risk of imminent failure” and the weather service extended a flash flood warning.

“This is a life-threatening situation. Heed all evacuation orders immediately! If you are not threatened by floodwaters, shelter in place.”

A spokeswoman for McDowell County’s emergency management department Richelle Bailey said engineers were examining the dam yesterday morning (Tuesday). She said about 2,000 people live in the evacuation area and there are about 200 people in shelters.

Also, there are two deaths attributed to the situation already. Subtropical Storm Alberto continues to rip throughout the south, causing flash flooding and severe weather conditions. Before, two journalists from South Carolina had died in an accident in Polk County. According to a witness, a tree fell on their SUV as they made were making a report on the hazardous weather.

For now, McDowell County 911/Emergency Management is urging people effected to have patience as workers inspect the structure.

“We understand people are getting anxious concerning the length of the evacuation order. Please be patient as personnel are working as quickly as possible to determine whether the incident at Lake Tahoma has stabilized,” the statement said.

According to WLOS, the evacuations included:

  • Lake Tahoma Road from Lake Tahoma south to U.S. 70 West
  • Tom Johnson Camping Center
  • Old Greenlee Road from Crane Resistoflex Road to Water Filter Plant
  • U.S. 70 West from PG Fire Department to North Main Street
  • All residences along the Catawba River from Tom Johnson to Lake James. This includes developments that border the Catawba River in the Hankins community.
  • All locations along U.S. 221 Business
  • Burnettes Landing
  • Lake James Landing
  • Tom Creek Road from N.C. 80 to Morgan Lake Road

The National Weather Service also urge residents to stay off the roads as the increased threat for landslides and debris flows continues.

Alberto is the first storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season according to the National Hurricane Center. It is the deadliest since the  2017 hurricane that destroyed large parts of Puerto Rico and left coastal areas of Texas under water. This time Alberto caused the rugged mountains in North Carolina, spawning landslides, evacuations and flash flooding.

Heavy rainfall drenched parts of Northern Georgia, the western Carolinas, and Tennessee on Tuesday.

Author: USA Really