Flooding, landslides feared with continuous rain

By Vicki Hyatt | Jul 03, 2013
Photo by: Richard Ploch Traffic was temporarily stalled as the power company and the fire department worked to remove a tree that fell across U.S. 276 South near its junction with Sonoma Road during heavy rains.

Haywood County Emergency officials are on high alert in light of the expected weather forecast, which shows continued heavy rain for the next 24 hours.

Greg Shuping, county emergency services director, said minor flooding is expected in the Lake Logan, Richland Creek and Allens Creek areas. Most concerning is the potential for landslides.

“The National Weather Service doesn’t issue landslide warnings but from past experience we know it’s weather like this that is a trigger,” he said.

He encourages area residents to be aware of what’s going on around them. “We call that situational awareness,” he said. “Folks should keep up with the weather forecast and watch the streams, banks and mountains around them.”

There have been steady rains in Haywood County for the past week, and the steady downpour Wednesday is falling on already saturated ground.

Ken Thomas with the Haywood Electrical Membership Corporation fears that a tree that fell across U.S. 276 South near its junction with Sonoma Road could be the tip of the iceberg.

“Pray that we don’t get any wind,” he said. “The problem around here is that with all the rock and granite, tree roots aren’t very deep. With all this rain there could be more trees that fall.”

He said the trucks are stocked and ready to respond to emergencies as they arrive.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Ron Rookstool | Jul 04, 2013 09:56

It is unfortunate that WNC may have more mudslides causing damage to property and people. It sure would be nice if the elected congress in NC would realize the importance of allowing the counties to regulate slope control and leave well enough alone. Several years ago the elected officials in Raleigh did not want to get involved with slope regulations? 

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