Local

Blue Ridge Parkway has flooding, fallen trees, damaged trails, due to record rainfall

Linville Falls Picnic Area is closed due to standing water and dangerously high river levels until further notice.
Linville Falls Picnic Area is closed due to standing water and dangerously high river levels until further notice.

The Blue Ridge Parkway has announced "several" closings after Subtropical Storm Alberto left standing water in picnic areas, fallen trees on roads, and nearby rivers at "dangerously high levels."

Chief among the closures: a section of parkway between Asheville north to Mount Mitchell State Park, where debris and fallen trees are blocking the road.

"Crews are ... cutting trees as they encounter them, working from Asheville. We do not have an estimated reopening yet," said the park service in a Thursday Facebook post.

Hiking trails have also been impacted, including the Tanawha Trail, which is closed over Boone Fork Creek because of a damaged bridge.

Park officials posted photos showing one bridge pier floating in midair after fast-flowing water washed away the dirt and rocks beneath it.

Other photos showed such popular areas as the Linville Falls Picnic Area covered in water.

For the latest road closures, visit the parkways open/closed status page at www.nps.gov/maps.

The heavy rains associated with Alberto came on the heels of another extended wet period in the mountains that was blamed for closing the Linn Cove Viaduct. The rains associated with Alberto will keep it closed a little longer, officials said in a tweet.

The National Weather Service reported Friday that rains in the Asheville area set a monthly record of 14.68 inches in May. That's an inch over the previous record of 13.75 inches, set in the 1940s.

Some areas in western North Carolina got nearly 8 inches of rain over a 24 hour period this week, says the National Weather Service.



Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs
  Comments