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Heavy rains cause landslide, send crane into river

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Posted: Friday, July 5, 2013 10:01 am

Torrential rains this past week led to flooding, landslides and triggered the opening of the county’s emergency operations center to help residents cope.

Todd Dillard, director of Jackson County Emergenty Services, said a landslide occurred on Herron Branch Road, off Dicks Creek Road. The slide temporarily shut down the road, trapping some residents for a short time in their homes, and left behind a large debris field, he said.

The Department of Transportation reported a landslide on Dark Ridge Road. Residents can still access their homes.

Additionally, on Thursday night, seven county residents spent the evening at an emergency shelter set up at the Golden Age Center. The shelter was scheduled to close at 9 a.m. Friday, July 5.

Flood waters toppled a 50-ton crane into the Tuckaseigee River on Wayehutta Road. The crane was being used by a contractor for the Department of Transportation to replace a bridge, Dillard said.

Dillard said he was notified at about 8 p.m. Thursday night that Duke Energy had to open a flood gate at Thorpe Lake, which would, he said, “dump copious amounts of water into the Tuckaseigee River, which was already high from all the rain.” Fire department volunteers went house to house warning residents about the potential for flooding. An emergency notification system to residents by phone also took place.

Sylva, NC

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