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Rains Hit: Flooding, Rescues, Evacuations PDF Print
Written by Steve Frank   
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 21:37

The rains finally hit the High Country mid afternoon Wednesday, but before dark, many area of the county were in chaos. Troubles first cropped up in Avery, with roads flooded and serious traffic accident, including one head-on crash near the entrance to Cannon Memorial. That wreck included entrapment, and the injured were rushed emergency traffic to Cannon, then rushed to Johnson City Medical Center while the state patrol began their probe of the crash.  Numerous roads were closed, some washed out, others washed over before the center of activity shifted to Watauga. The first two swift water rescue efforts were launched, one on US 221 west of Blowing Rock, a car in a rushing stream, with no indication whether anyone was inside or not. A short time later, a definitely occupied vehicle became stranded in the water that overflowed the bridge at the entrance to Hound Ears on Shulls Mill Road, but after a rescue, the man inside was taken into the guard house to dry out—his car still stuck.  Highway 105 in the Rockcrusher Hill area looked like a river, with water across the road and what appeared to be rapids on each side. A mud slide blocked one lane inbound to Boone.  Then two other swift water rescues took place on Bamboo, Town of Boone crews able to reach the occupants and take them to safety.  As usual, a number of cars were awash on the lot of Boone Mall, some driving onto the lot, others parked.  Boone Fire soon found themselves with multiple emergencies at once, with some Bavarian Village apartments flooding, propane leaking from tanks pushed around by the flooding at Suburban Propane, eventually  causing a lot of Meadowview Drive being evacuated while crews ventured onto the lot to find the leaking tanks. A fire call on Bluebird lane in then came in, and in the process of taking care of that, Boone Fire found a number of mobile homes in the Bradford Trailer Park were awash, and residents had to be taken to safety. Shelters were opened for the displaced, as emergency management began operations.  Eventually, the line of storms moved east, and waters began to recede, but the daylight—now in the snow—the damage assessment really gets underway.

 

 

 

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