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Netizen 24 AUS: NC dam in "imminent danger" of failing, evacuations ordered

Posted by On 6:34 AM

NC dam in "imminent danger" of failing, evacuations ordered

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Last Updated May 30, 2018 9:22 AM EDT

Authorities in western North Carolina have ordered evacuations in an area south of the Lake Tahoma dam, which they say is in "imminent danger" of failing after a landslide compromised its structural integrity. The landslide was set off by heavy rainfall associated with Alberto, which made landfall as a subtropical storm on Memorial Day.

The National Weather Service tweeted an urgent message:

The weather service declared a "flash flood emergency":

Local officials said a "class 1 emergency" would be in effect until state inspectors could evaluate the dam i n daylight hours.

A state of emergency was declared in McDowell County, reports CBS Spartanburg, S.C., affiliate WSPA-TV.

McDowell County Emergency Management said some 2,000 people from campgrounds and residential communities near the dam and lake had evacuated, with roughly 200 at shelters, adding there may be more later since water levels were expected to rise. Old Fort and Marion are the hardest-hit communities.

Shelters were set up at two churches and a YMCA.

McDowell County Emergency Management Deputy Director Adrienne Jones told The Associated Press five minor injuries have been reported during water rescues as creeks and streams overflowed their banks and rockslides closed roads.

The Twitter account for the area's National Weather Service office retweeted a picture showing floodwaters in Burke County.

CBS Greensboro, N.C., affiliate WFMY-TV reports a mudslide in Old Fort forced the shutdown of a portion of Interstate 40. Later, the No rth Carolina Department of Transportation said the right two westbound lanes and the left eastbound lane remained closed, probably until Friday afternoon.

WFMY-TV said western North Carolina communities were on high alert due to heavy rains and flash flooding and possible mudslides from Alberto. According to the AP, forecasters warned that the leftovers of the Atlantic hurricane season's first named storm were still capable of causing treacherous flooding as heavy precipitation spreads deeper into the nation's midsection. Flash flood watches were in effect for parts of several states from Alabama through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, the Carolinas and Virginia and West Virginia.

Lake Tahoma is a private lake in the mountains.

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