Western North Carolina residents spent a soggy Fourth of July cleaning up after several days of heavy rain triggered flooding, landslides and a sinkhole that swallowed part of a parking lot in Madison County.
Waters rose Thursday afternoon, forcing the closure of Tunnel Road between Kenilworth and Asheville Mall. Portions of Sweeten Creek Road also saw flooding, and trees down.
Asheville rescue units have been called out to several water rescues this afternoon. Some of them turned out to be people tubing who were strongly encouraged to abandon the roiling French Broad River. As of 5 p.m., scanner traffic indicated there was one person missing. That report is not yet confirmed.
Volunteers from the American Red Cross were at the Laurel and Walnut fire departments in Madison County on Thursday, prepared to hand out boxes with mops, buckets and other cleaning supplies. The organization was also planning to bring in meals for those affected by the flooding.
Several sections of Madison County were hard hit by several days of heavy rainfall.
A tiny branch along U.S. 25-70 turned into a fast moving river in the Walnut community Wednesday.
“It looked like the French Broad River through here, it was so big,” said Dora Ann Rice, who grew up in this area of Madison County.
A flash flood watch remained in effect across the mountains of Western North Carolina as more showers are expected today. That watch remains in effect until 8 p.m.
There is no word on when the sinkhole repair will begin.