Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rain Triggers Mudslides in Two Western North Carolina Counties

Intense rainfall on August 26, 2008 set off mudslides and mudflows in Haywood and Rutherford Counties. Local newspapers provided the following information.

Haywood County

The Mountaineer reported in their August 29, 2008 edition that an east Canton home had been damaged by a mudslide.

In the article, "Welcome rain brings woes, too," Greg Shuping, director of Haywood County Emergency Management Services told Staff writer, Beth Pleming that, "Due to heavy rains, the mountain behind the home slid off and broke down a retaining wall, sending water and mud sliding up against the house. It was a pretty dangerous situation, but again nobody got hurt. The homeowners (who were in the home at the time) self-evacuated."

In the same issue of The Mountaineer Staff writer Justin Waybright covered the Haywood County industrial site mudflow. In his article, "Mud plagues Beaverdam site," Waybright reported that a dam on a sediment trap at a county construction site gave way and unleashed a river of muddy water onto a nearby roadway. Marc Pruett, Haywood County erosion control director, assessed the damage and stated, "The basin did not blow out, it filled up over the top, it caught hundreds of cubic yards of mud. The minimum requirement for a state site is to have a 10 year storm design and the rain last night may have exceeded the design."

Local residents have complained about construction activities since the project began and they say that the county has not observed 1996 regulations that restrict public nuisances.

Lake Lure/Rutherford County

Jean Gordon, a writer for The Digital Courier, spotlighted the mudslides that impacted Chimney Rock and Lake Lure.

In her article, “Mudslides hit lake area,”Gordon focused on the mudslide that forced the closure of a local lake front restaurant. The manager of The Beach Grill, Anthony Simmons, said he believed the mudslide had been caused by a developer who had clear-cut the slope behind the building. Officials also reported mudslides along Highway 64/74 and a mud flow near the Esmeralda Inn.

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