Local

Storm threat subsides in North Carolina mountains

At Bilmore Village near Asheville, the Swannanoa River rose to near flood level, but no threat to the town was expected.
At Bilmore Village near Asheville, the Swannanoa River rose to near flood level, but no threat to the town was expected. mwashburn@charlotteobserver.com

Rivers crested Sunday in parts of the North Carolina highlands, and some roads were closed by high water.

But the storm that had dumped heavy rain on the drought-stricken mountains for much of the weekend subsided, spending most of its fury in South Carolina.

Only intermittent drizzle fell in Asheville, though dark clouds from the storm continued to race overhead, scraping the peaks throughout the region.

Black Mountain got nearly 5 inches of rain from the storm on Saturday, and Asheville recorded 2.2 inches, breaking the record for the date set in 1961, when 1.6 inches fell. Authorities expected the French Broad River, which drains much of the region, to crest by Monday.

Because of the summer drought, rivers were running low when the storm hit, keeping flooding to a minimum. Asheville was about 3 inches under its average yearly rainfall when the storm came, and should pull about even by the time skies clear on Monday.

Duke Energy reported sporadic power outages across the mountains Sunday, including around Canton, Fairview and Swannanoa, from trees falling into power lines. Gusty winds had been forecast but never arrived, reducing the threat of trees being pulled from the sodden soil.

Still, federal authorities planned to keep the mudslide-prone Blue Ridge Parkway closed until at least Monday from Boone to Cherokee.

Mark Washburn: 704-358-5007, @WashburnChObs

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

  Comments