Environment
12:40 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

WNC storm watch: flash flooding biggest concern

Jeffrey Taylor is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. He says parts of Western North Carolina saw anywhere from a few tenths of an inch to about 2 1/2 inches after overnight rain, and the agency expects 2-3 more inches before the storm passes.

Because of heavy rainfall, Taylor says the biggest problem this storm could cause is flash flooding across the area.

Flooding displaced about 25 residents in Woodfin after Monday night's heavy rain.
Credit John Wareham / Red Cross

Some 25 people were already displaced from their homes due to flooding of Beaverdam Creek in Woodfin.

John Wareham, spokesman for the Asheville Mountain Area division of the American Red Cross, says he got a call about the flooding at 5 o’clock this morning.

“When I arrived, the water was about 5 feet high," he said. "It was about halfway up the side of the residences and above the hood on a number of vehicles.”

Wareham says one woman had to be retrieved from her home by boat.

Jerry Vehaun, director of Buncombe County Emergency Services, says residences, businesses, and small bridges were impacted in Woodfin, and that his team also removed debris from the road.

He says while residents reported other issues, flash flooding was really the most significant concern.

“We had a few areas where we had some small slides that came across some roads and some trees down," he said, "But nothing major. “

The Red Cross Flood Safety Checklist advises that when a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

Don’t try to drive thorough flooded roads.

The Red Cross provides many smartphone apps for disaster preparedness, including what to do in the case of a flood, tornado, or other severe weather.