N.C. dam in "imminent danger" of failing, evacuations ordered

Heavy rain will reach Chicago and the Great Lakes by Wednesday afternoon

Heavy rain will reach Chicago and the Great Lakes by Wednesday afternoon

Cooper declared a state of emergency in western North Carolina as forecasted heavy storms for much of the rest of the week could quickly bring the flooding and mudslides back.

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.

". this storm isn't yet over".

The emergency declaration will help the state coordinate its response and "prepare for any additional impacts", the statement said. And in the next couple of days, there will be a threat of flash flooding as storms persist, the governor's office said.

The inspections came after about 2,000 people were evacuated for several hours when emergency managers said the Lake Tahoma dam was in danger of "imminent failure" early Wednesday. State officials said the "primary concerns right now are the stability of mountain slopes and several dams".

A mandatory evacuation of downtown Old Fort was ordered, Tuesday night, due to extensive flooding and of the area below the Lake Tahoma Dam. However, Jones said an engineer who had inspected the scene was concerned enough to order the evacuation. "The emergency at Lake Tahoma has been canceled". Heed all evacuation orders immediately! The lanes are expected to reopen by Friday afternoon. We need the public to be a partner with us and do not go around barriers.

Widespread flooding was reported in McDowell County, including along the Catawba River and its tributaries like Mill, Crooked, Nix, Curtis and Mackey creeks.

"What we are hearing is 1 to 3 inches across the county this afternoon and this evening, possibly more than 5 inches in heavy rain", said Yaussy.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has been working through the day to assess damage and remove debris.

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Officials had said water was spilling around the sides of the dam which triggered the landslides, according to FOX Carolina.

A television news anchor and a photojournalist died Monday while covering the weather, when a tree became uprooted from rain-soaked ground and toppled onto their SUV in North Carolina. In McDowell County, we saw mandatory evacuations due to landslides throughout the area.

Lake Tahoma is about 20 minutes northwest of Marion and roughly an hour northeast of Asheville.

Alberto's heavy rains have been widespread. It is managing water releases from the North Fork Reservoir Dam. A licensed care facility and mobile home parks in Buncombe also were evacuated.

More than 6,500 power outages in western counties were reported. Search and rescue teams were deployed.

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.

A flash flood warning is also in effect.

A number of other roads in western North Carolina are closed by flooding or mudslides. As a result of bad weather, two people were killed.

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