Asheville still under flash flood watch following Florence

This Google map images shows Tropical Depression Florence’s location Sunday evening.



A day of nonstop rain from Tropical Depression Florence brought some flooding to the Asheville area Sunday and overnight into Monday.

Sunday evening, the City of Asheville closed Azalea Road as the Swannanoa River has begun to rise.

Also, the Asheville Fire Department performed a swift-water rescue of two people found stranded on an island near Lowe’s. Both were unharmed.

At 8:43 p.m. Sunday, the City used its emergency notification system AVL Alert to notify people of the potential for flooding along Swannanoa River Road near Biltmore Village, in Biltmore Village and along Amboy Road near Carrier Park.

Also Sunday, the Red Cross opened an emergency shelter at Swannanoa First Baptist Church, 503 Park St. This in response to a voluntary evacuation of 3 mobile home parks on Portman Villa Road, Davis Drive and Atkins Drive in Black Mountain.

For the most current river flooding information locally and statewide, visit the NC Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network.


North Fork Dam

While Asheville Water Resources staff closed the gates at the North Fork Dam at 2:40 a.m. Sunday, 10 feet of water has since risen in the North Fork Reservoir. For that reason, two gates were opened.

The plan is to control releases, and hopefully find a balance between inflow and outflow to avoid large releases, said Water Resources Director David Melton.

Water Resources staff drew down water from the North Fork Reservoir this past week, lowering the level of water in the lake to build capacity for expected rain from this storm.


If you encounter flooding

flood sign

We urge everyone to take safety precautions anytime they encounter a flooded road. “Turn around, don’t drown.” Just 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock over and carry off an adult. Twelve inches of water can float a small car.


Where to find official information

Find links to official emergency information on the City of Asheville website and on the Asheville Fire Department’s Twitter feed.

Information will also be posted on the City of Asheville Facebook page and Twitter feed. This may include street closures, in case of localized flooding.

The best way receive up-to-date local information is to sign up for AVL Alert, the City’s emergency notification system. Signing up is quick and easy and you can receive alerts for up to five locations. That may include your residence, an elderly relative’s residence, your child’s school, etc. Here is a link to a how-to video on AVL Alert registration.

You can also download the NC Emergency Management app, ReadyNC, or follow the agency at this link.



Storm’s impact on Asheville

Weather service

According to the National Weather Service:

  • A flash flood watch remains in effect for Asheville through noon Tuesday.
  • The National Weather Service warns that there is the potential for landslides in the mountains.

“Many people who think that the storm has missed them have yet to see its threat: Residents of Charlotte, Asheville, Fayetteville, Statesville, the Southern Piedmont, the Sandhills, the mountains,” Gov. Roy Cooper warned on Saturday.

Find official Tropical Depression Florence weather information on the National Weather Service website.


Schools on a delayed schedule

Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools have announced a two-hour delay for Monday morning.


Florence’s toll so far

rainfall totals

A weakened Tropical Storm Florence was downgraded to a tropical depression overnight, but flash flooding and major river flooding are expected to continue over the Carolinas.

The National Hurricane Center said North Carolina can expect excessive amounts of rain. An elevated risk of landslides is now expected in Western North Carolina.

Seventeen people have been killed since Hurricane Florence washed ashore in Wilmington Friday morning.

There have been more than 900 swift-water rescues.

The storm’s effect has been profound in the eastern part of the state.

“There is no access to Wilmington,” said Woody White, chairman of the board of commissioners of New Hanover County. “Our roads are flooded.” White said food and water would need to be flown into the coastal city of nearly 120,000 people.

Flooding is going on in many parts of coastal North and South Carolina.


What about power?

NC Emergency Management reported that statewide power outage total was at  632,566 Sunday afternoon. NC Emergency Management is keeping track of power outages statewide at this link.

Call Duke Energy to report downed power lines:

  • Duke Energy Carolinas – 800-769-3766
  • Duke Energy Progress – 800-419-6356

Duke Energy warns people to stay away from downed power lines:

  • DO NOT drive over or stand near downed power lines. Electric current passes easily through water.
  • Turn off your power at the circuit breaker panel or fuse box if rising water threatens your home or if you evacuate your home.



More will be added to this report.