The record rainfall has caused deadly mud and landslides, destructive floods and raised rivers to dangerous levels. That’s kept recreational areas near the French Broad and Swannanoa River closed.
“This is not ideal,” said Asheville City Parks and Recreation Program Manager Sandra Travis. “2018 is recorded as the wettest year on record.”
On Wednesday cars drove through mud and standing water to enjoy the recreation area that is no reopen. Park goers told 7News that was not the case a few days ago.
“It was completely submerged underwater,” said Katie Nef.
Travis tells 7News the excessive rainfall has forced the city to close several parks because of extensive flood damage.
“It’s primarily standing water from all the rain, mud, silt [and] some tree limbs down,” she said.
Travis says the city it doing everything they can to keep as many parks open, because they realize the rain is not going to keep families indoors. However, park goers need to be cautious, because the rain is expected to continue and officials say it won’t take much to swell the river.
Just this week, Travis says city workers learned first hand how dangerous flood waters can be while working in carrier park.
“The water rose so fast this time that we were in the process of closing our parks. We got 1 parking lot at Carrier closed, but there was a vehicle parked in the other one and before we could make contact with the owner, the water came up so fast we were unable to get to the gate to close it safely.” Travis told 7News.
Damage assessment and cleanup can’t begin until the water recedes.
Right now, there is no timeline for when some parks will reopen.