A landslide caused by heavy rains raised fears about the integrity of Lake Tahoma Dam in North Carolina.
The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Warning for areas downstream of Lake Tahoma (central McDowell County in western North Carolina) due to a potential imminent failure of Tahoma Dam, placing the area under a mandatory evacuation order. Dam engineers remain on scene to monitor the dam. Lake Tahoma Dam is currently in a Level 1 or Imminent Failure Condition. This condition will continue until the engineers have the opportunity to thoroughly inspect the dam during daylight hours.
On Wednesday morning, water was said to be spilling over the sides of the dam. McDowell County Emergency Management said officials examined the dam and found no imminent danger so the evacuation orders were lifted. McDowell County Emergency Services director William Kehler said the evacuations impacted "several thousand" residents. Five minor injuries were reported from flooding in the area near Marion, North Carolina. The Catawba River just outside of Marion reached its highest level since the previous record crest set during Hurricane Frances in September 2004. The National Weather Service said an estimated 4 to 6 inches of rain had fallen in McDowell County since Tuesday morning. At least five mudslides were reported in Henderson County, which blocked roads near the towns of Bat Cave and Hendersonville.