For the most part, Caldwell County was spared from last night and today’s storm.
As usual, affected areas include Mortimer, Edgemont, Wilson Creek, Anthony Creek, Buffalo, Patterson and Valmead. All had localized flooding, no widespread damage as was the case with the prior storm.
Landslides and downed trees and power lines seem to be the threat moving forward.
As is always the case, the entrance to Wilson Creek, the low portion of Brown Mountain Beach Road before Betsey’s Store, Mortimer and portions of Edgemont all had roadways and bridges under water. Buffalo was also heavily impacted with damage to State and private roadways, bridges and drives. Valmead and Patterson had isolated incidents where residents were stranded by fast rising waters, however none required evacuation or rescue and each sheltered in place.
The flood sirens on Wilson Creek were activated when each Flood Warning was issued, when the “Action Stage” of water level was reached, and when minor and moderate flooding occurred. The National Weather Service and the stream gauges provided vital information that allowed personnel to activate the flood sirens in a timely manner.
“We are encouraging maintained vigilance by residents and visitors to Caldwell County, as afternoon and evening thunderstorms and rain showers will allow for the potential for additional localized flooding,” says Dino Dibernardi, Caldwell County Emergency Services Director. “We are also asking motorists to heed all warnings and roadblocks and to not drive around or move barricades; these measures are in place for their safety and the safety of the emergency personnel who would be required to rescue those who become stranded. Be aware of low hanging and down power lines and trees.”
Landslides are going to be a continued challenge as the ground is heavily saturated and will not absorb much additional rainwater in any amount. As always, remember, Turn Around, Don’t Drown; a mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is never safe to drive or walk into flood waters.
The Emergency Services office will continue to monitor the situation and ongoing flooding issues and potential as we move forward through this wet period.