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April 24, 2014

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Rain causing flooding, power outages

Published: 9:47 AM, 05/06/2013 Last updated: 9:47 AM, 05/06/2013
 



The rains that have been falling since Sunday are causing flooding and power outages throughout the High Country.

Watauga County Schools will be closed due to the flooding. The holiday/snow day program at Hardin Park will not operate. Two Rivers Community School is operating on a two-hour delay.

According to the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg, 4.53 inches of rain has fallen at the Watauga Medical Center station in Boone since early Sunday afternoon.

In Boone, Deerfield Road has been closed near the Moose Lodge as the river creeps out of its banks, and other areas are affected as well. Capt. Mike Teague of the Boone Fire Department said firefighters helped two people from the flood waters Monday morning after their vehicle became stuck at Deerfield Road near the golf course.

The N.C. Department of Transportation has been called to several areas due to debris in roadways.

A rock slide caused by heavy rains Monday morning blocked one lane of U.S. 321 just south of Blowing Rock below the Green Park Inn. The Blowing Rock Police Department directed traffic at the area beginning around 6 a.m. By 9 a.m. the debris was cleared from the highway and both lanes were reopened.

Boone Police Department is reporting that the Boone Mall entrance off Blowing Rock Road is closed, and water is standing in parts of Blowing Rock Road, especially near the mall entrance and Staples.

The Watauga River at Sugar Grove is at a stage of 12.75 feet this morning -- well above its flood stage of six feet -- and is still rising, the NWS said at 8:13 a.m. Monday.

"Expect this river and numerous smaller streams and rivers to remain in flood much of today," stated an alert from the NWS office in Blacksburg.

The persistent rain also has loosened tree roots and caused a number of trees to fall on power lines, according to Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation.

Exactly 487 members in Watauga County were without power as of 6:45 a.m., with another 63 customers in the dark in Ashe County, Blue Ridge Electric said.

Linemen worked throughout the night restoring scattered outages across Watauga, Ashe and Caldwell counties, including the largest outage that resulted from a tree on a power line in Watauga County that affected more than 5,000 members from around 7:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., said Renee Whitener, public relations director.
 
Members are encouraged to report outages by calling the cooperative's PowerLine at 1-800-448-2383. They also may call any Blue Ridge Electric district office to speak to a member services representative to report the location of a downed power line.

Stay far away from downed power lines, as they can still be energized.

To check outage status at any time, visit Blue Ridge Electric's online outage map at http://www.BlueRidgeEMC.com, where outage preparedness and safety tips can also be found. Updates are also available on the cooperative's social media sites at: http://www.facebook.com/blueridgeemc and http://www.twitter.com/blueridgeemc.

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