RALEIGH – Heavy rainfall in the North Carolina Foothills on Saturday caused severe flooding in several counties west of Interstate 77, damaged homes, roads and bridges, and impacted travel.
Today, Governor Pat McCrory, N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata, state and county Emergency Management personnel, and NCDOT officials toured some of the hardest hit areas in Catawba and Lincoln counties to see damage and emergency efforts first hand. They talked with residents and local leaders about necessary relief and a commitment to rebuild damaged roadways and bridges as quickly as possible. See video of today’s tour here.
“My heart goes out to those who have been affected by this storm and recent flooding in Lincoln and Catawba Counties,” said Governor McCrory. “We are working night and day to help get those affected back to regular life and working non-stop to ensure that our vital infrastructure is safe and sound. North Carolinians are resilient people and I have no doubt that everyone we visited today will be back on their feet soon enough.”
Some areas in Catawba and Lincoln counties received more than 12 inches of rain on Saturday, resulting in widespread flooding, as well as many downed trees and power lines.
NCDOT completed its initial emergency response work and restored traffic operations in several critical locations through temporary repairs. Crews are now assessing the damage to determine the most efficient ways to make additional repairs. In several areas, floodwaters remain too high to discern the full extent of the storms’ impacts. Once the water recedes, inspectors will examine roads, pipes and bridges that are now under water, perform engineering analyses of all damage, estimate repair costs, and develop strategies for permanent repairs.
“I’m proud of the work our crews are doing and appreciate their effort to restore mobility for citizens in these hard hit areas as soon as possible,” said Secretary Tata. “Our team is always committed to keeping people connected to work, healthcare and other critical services no matter what Mother Nature brings.”
Eight roadways in Catawba, Lincoln, and Cleveland counties had culverts or bridges that were completely washed out. Thirty-nine additional roads were damaged by the extensive flooding (partial roadway washouts, fill removal, slope failures, sinkholes, storm drain system failures). Additionally, six roads in Iredell County received damage, and Gaston County experienced flooding conditions as a result of the upstream runoff.
Here is a breakdown of the areas hardest hit by the storms:
· The bridge on N.C. 10 in Newton over Clarks Creek near the intersection of Long Road was flooded and the area near the bridge was washed out. Once the water level recedes, NCDOT crews will examine the bridge to see if it sustained any damage. The road will remain closed in the area and a detour route was set up.
· Gracie Lane and Grace Church Road (both south of Hickory) are among 18 county roads that were flooded. Eight others saw shoulder washouts, while five others saw pipe or box culverts blocked or washed out.
· The bridge on Beam Lumber Company Road bridge near John Beam Road in Vale over Little Indian Creek washed out. There were several drainage pipes that were washed out in the Lincolnton area, including Dan Rhyne Road, Tallent Road and Zur Leonard Road.
Motorists are advised to proceed with caution in areas with standing water. NCDOT urges drivers in the area to watch this video for tips on traveling safely during severe weather.
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit our travel webpage or follow NCDOT on Twitter. To see images of the storm damage, go to the NCDOT Facebook page.
Editor's Note: Governor Pat McCrory and Transportation Secretary Tony Tata survey damage to the Beam Lumber Company Road bridge in Vale.
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