RUTHERFORD COUNTY, NC (WSPA) – Popular tourist spots like Bat Cave, Chimney Rock, and Lake Lure in Rutherford County have been hit hard by mudslides and flooding due to the relentless subtropical rain that’s battered the area for a week.
Storm response teams from the NCDOT, local fire departments, utility crews, and operators of the county’s dams have been working around the clock for days trying to make roads passable again.
At one point Lake Lure had more water coming into it than going out.
Flood gates on the dam were opened which led to Lake Lure being at its lowest level in recent memory.
From Chimney Rock up to Bat Cave several landslides have Memorial Highway closed in both directions.
Our 7News crew could only reach the slide near Chimney Rock Village where a volunteer fire station suffered moderate damage.
All of the water flowing down the mountainsides and over the roads is reaching the Broad River and all of the other rivers and creeks in Rutherford County.
The Rocky Broad River’s average level of 3 feet has risen to 9 feet.
Many have left for higher ground in local shelters and surrounding communities.
Amber Hunt of Chimney Rock followed the voluntary evacuation order.
7News spoke to her as she was trying to make it to a friend’s house in Hendersonville.
“They had to take me by police escort so I could get my stuff. They said we don’t want anyone up here because it’s so dangerous. They said if you go up there you’re taking your life in your own hands and they’re not responsible. That’s how bad it is up that way.”
The countywide state of emergency that remains in effect will allow local town leaders to seek disaster assistance from the state.
In addition to U.S. Highway 64/74 near Bat Cave, Bills Creek Road near Antioch is shut down until further notice.
Emergency management officials tell 7News it is still too early to give residents a timeline for when it is safe to get back into their homes.