WRGC

A cloudburst on Saturday sparked flooding along Skyland Drive, flooding the basement of radio station WRGC.

By Dave Russell

Flooding closed a portion of Skyland Drive Saturday when a rain cloud parked itself over Pinnacle Park and deluged Fisher Creek watershed, Emergency Services Director Todd Dillard said.

“It was only 2-3 inches, but it came down really fast, is what the Weather Service was saying,” he said. “It was just a huge runoff.”

The closed section was about 500 feet from Steeple Road to Greene Brothers Well Drilling, Dillard said.

The flooding began about 1 p.m. The road was closed for about an hour to an hour-and-a-half.

“That’s the good thing about our area,” he said. “We flood very quickly, but we also have rapid runoff, so the water goes down pretty quickly.”

A few small trees were down across the county, but they were not problematic. A few power outages dotted the county, but were not widespread, Dillard said.

“There were places where driveways washed out, with rocks and debris in the road,” he said. “NCDOT took care of that pretty quickly.”

The Sylva Fire Department used fire trucks to block the road, Chief Mike Beck said. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office assisted.

Nearby WRGC radio station had some flooding in its basement.

“We had 2 to 3 inches in the lower level of the building, where the studios and technical equipment are,” WRGC owner Roy Burnette said.“I was able to get all the equipment up on a chair or a box or something like that. Thank goodness, I turned off the transmitter and didn’t fry everybody.”

There was no permanent damage to the station, but there was a loss.

“We had about 200 album covers damaged,” he said. “Some of those album covers are old enough to be collectibles. They’re no good anymore.”

The water started coming over the 4 inch lip of the door at about 1 p.m.

Within an hour, the creek was back down and the water receded.

Burnette and his team pumped about 300 gallons of water out of the building, he said.

Faced with five floods in the building since March, Burnette is looking to move. His building flooded again Tuesday.