Flood threat remains as French Broad River slowly recedes


BUNCOMBE COUNTY, NC (WSPA) – Widespread floodwaters remained but started to slowly recede Thursday along the French Broad River in Buncombe County.

A flash flood watch remains in effect until Friday morning with more rain possible into Thursday night. 

Sandwiched in between the French Broad and Amboy Road in W. Asheville are several parks, including Carrier Park, and businesses like Wilson’s Riverside RV Park. 

Everyday the floodwaters remain is another day of lost revenue for owner Tony Wilson. 

“I’m afraid to know how much. It might give me a heart attack. It’s definitely money going out of my wallet,” said Wilson.

Wilson hopes the 25 occupants who pulled their RV’s out of the park Tuesday heading for higher ground at other campgrounds will be back once his paved lots are dry and free of sand and silt. 

Wilson said this flood has been bad but he witnessed worse during the flood of 2004.

Meanwhile, French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson who traveled by canoe down the French Broad Thursday said he is optimistic with receding water levels.

“We’re heading in the right direction,” said Carson as he spoke with 7News along the riverbanks at French Broad River Park Thursday.

The raging current turned what’s normally a 3 1/2 hour trip down the river into a swift 90 minutes, said Carson.

As for anyone anxious to canoe or kayak in the river, Carson said, “It’s definitely an expert level only recommendation. I wouldn’t be flipping right now. You wouldn’t be able to get back out of the water.”

Carson said it’s still hard to tell when the river will be fully receded since rain was expected Thursday night. 

Once it is Carson and others will begin to assess environmental impacts from the floodwaters, including pollution from flooded fuel storage facilities and old tires that have floated away from junkyards near the river.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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