NC Gov. announces state of emergency for mountain counties

News

MARION, N.C. (AP) – The Latest on the remnants of Subtropical Storm Alberto (all times local):
  
12:35 p.m.
  
North Carolina Gov. 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.
  
No evacuations have been ordered, but Cooper says the inspectors will make sure the dams at Lake Lure, Lake Tahoma, Lake Tuxedo and North Fork Lake are still structurally sound.
  
Some areas have received up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain since Sunday on ground that was already saturated.
  
Cooper has announced a state of emergency for mountain counties, where flooding and mudslides are still blocking a number of roads.
  
Cooper said in a statement that two state Department of Transportation workers were swept away by a mudslide in McDowell County as they cleared debris from a previous slide but managed to stand on the side of the truck after it fell into the Catawba River and were rescued.
  
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12 p.m.
  
Subtropical Storm Alberto dealt a blow to sea turtle nests in southwest Florida.
  
Five of Collier County’s 218 sea turtle nests washed away during the weekend storm.
  
Another 26 nests were inundated, which means the eggs were covered with water; it remains to be seen how those nests will fare.
  
The Naples Daily News reports that Lee County is also trying to determine sea turtle nest losses. Sea turtle nesting season runs May 1 to Oct. 1, which is also peak storm season in Florida.
  
In 2017, half of the turtle nests laid on southwest Florida beaches washed out due to hurricanes.
  
The most common nesting sea turtle in southwest Florida, the loggerhead, is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
  
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10:35 a.m.
  
Authorities say 2,000 people evacuated in the North Carolina mountains because of worries a dam might break can return to their homes.
  
McDowell County Emergency Management sent a message to the public around 10:15 a.m. Wednesday saying engineers have determined the dam at Lake Tahoma is safe.
  
Heavy rains from the fringes of Subtropical Storm Alberto caused widespread flooding Tuesday evening. Emergency officials order the evacuations because an engineer inspecting the dam was worried it might break before officials could get a better look in the daylight.
  
The dam is about 80 miles (129 kilometers) northwest of Charlotte.
  
Dozens of roads in western North Carolina were blocked by mudslides or flooding, including Interstate 40 which closed for several hours near Old Fort.
  
Forecasters warn storms could bring more flooding Wednesday, but say the heavy rains will be isolated and not widespread.
  
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10:20 a.m.
  
About 200 people in the North Carolina mountains have evacuated to shelters as authorities watch a dam threatened by flooding from the remnants of Subtropical Storm Alberto.
  
Emergency managers evacuated 2,000 people early Wednesday after determining the Lake Tahoma dam in western North Carolina could fail.
  
McDowell County Emergency Management deputy director Adrienne Jones says the dam hasn’t failed, but inspectors are watching it.
  
A number of other roads in western North Carolina are closed by flooding or mudslides. Interstate 40 near Old Fort was closed for a time, but crews have cleared enough debris to open at least one lane in each direction.
  
Forecasters say Alberto’s remnants can still bring flooding rains to the Southeast and nation’s midsection.
  
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11:20 p.m.
  
The soggy remnants of Alberto are spreading rain deeper into the nation’s midsection after downing trees, causing power outages and leaving scattered flooding around the South.
  
Forecasters say what’s left of the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season is still capable of causing flash flooding.
  
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Tuesday that as Alberto’s weakening system moves inland Wednesday, it still remains a potential menace.
  
Flash flood watches were in effort for parts of several states from Alabama through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, the Carolinas and Virginia and West Virginia.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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