Soggy Alberto triggers mudslides, threatened dam is OK

Larry Hoffman
June 1, 2018

Flash flood watches were in effect early Wednesday for parts of several states from Alabama through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, the Carolinas and Virginia and West Virginia. Local and state officials are closely monitoring the dams at Lake Lure, Lake Tahoma, Lake Tuxedo and North Fork Lake and are sending state dam safety engineers to areas of concern.

Rescue crews searching in and around Ivy Creek found the body of one of two occupants of a Toyota Prius that was washed off the road Wednesday night, Albemarle County police said.

The weather service declared a "flash flood emergency" saying "McDowell county emergency management reports water is spilling around the sides of Lake Tahoma dam".

The announcement follows heavy rains that slammed the mountainous area Tuesday and Wednesday, causing mudslides and forcing evacuations and road closures - including a portion of Interstate 40.

The dam is about five miles northwest of Marion.

Two people were killed after floods triggered a landslide in North Carolina, as Alberto was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone with diminished rainfall by the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) on Thursday.

Governor Roy Cooper announced a state of emergency for western North Carolina. The emergency has been canceled and the evacuation order was rescinded, McDowell County Emergency Management said in an update. Various Western North Carolina counties' emergency services were taking half-hourly readings of the river where it flows by residential areas, according to Matt Bush of Blue Ridge Public Radio in Asheville.

Shelters were opened at the YMCA in Marion, the Glenwood Baptist Church and Old Fort Baptist Church.

The deaths are the legacy of a storm named Alberto, which made landfall earlier this week as a subtropical storm and has since drenched the states in its path.

Lake Tahoma is a private lake in the mountains, in McDowell County.

"I have dogs and they're terribly afraid of storms, so they were on top on top me all night", said Key, an airport office manager.

The weather service on Tuesday confirmed that a weak tornado touched down in Calhoun County on Monday. The weather pattern was making its way through the Great Lakes region Thursday, bringing heavy rain and some thunderstorms.

The storm has killed two people in the state - journalists with WYFF, the NBC-TV affiliate in Greenville, S.C. Anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer were covering hazardous weather conditions in Polk County on Monday when a tree crushed their news van, the station reported.

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