Storm brings heavy rains, power outages in McDowell

This photo, courtesy of McDowell 911/Emergency Management’s Facebook page, shows the extent of Sunday’s flooding along Yancey Road near Lake James


Sunday’s thunderstorm and heavy rains in McDowell resulted in motor vehicle collisions, flash floods and downed power lines, according to reports.

At approximately 12:01 p.m. on Sunday, a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for NE McDowell County, with wind speeds estimated at 60 mph. No damage was reported from this storm.

At 12:15 p.m., a tornado watch was issued for McDowell County, then cancelled at 2:53 p.m.

During the storm, multiple calls for down trees and power lines were fielded by the 911 center, as well as reports of a motor vehicle collision on I-40 at the 79 eastbound mile marker involving multiple vehicles. No injuries were reported. Rainfall totals varied from 2-4 inches across McDowell, with the higher amounts seen in the southern sections of the county.

At 5:34 p.m. Sunday, a flash flood warning was issued for McDowell County until 11:30 p.m. During this time, multiple reports of flooding were received in the 911 center, with affected areas including Vein Mountain Road, Yancey Road, NC 226 South near Three Point Road, Seagle Street, and N.C. 126 near Nebo School Road.

A large power outage affecting Woodlawn, Ashford, and Hankins occurred Sunday afternoon due to a damaged transmission line. According to Emergency Services Director William Kehler, this outage was reportedly caused by trees that damaged electrical equipment. McDowell Emergency Management (EM) along with Hankins Fire Department assisted Lake James Assisted Living during the power outage. EM and North Cove Fire Dept. assisted Baxter as well during the outage. As of 9:30 a.m. Monday morning, power had started to come back on for affected areas.

By 1 p.m., Duke Energy’s outage map did not list any customers in McDowell without power.

Early Monday morning a water outage was reported to the 911 center. City of Marion crews were dispatched to the area of N.C. 226 South. This outage, which was later determined to be unrelated to the weather, affected locations along the intersection of 226 S. and U.S. 221 South. EM, along with McDowell Rescue and Marion Fire Department, provided assistance to N.C. Department of Correction during the outage, which had impacted an estimated 100 customers throughout the location. According to Marion City Manager Bob Boyette, water pressure had begun to return by approximately 9:30 a.m. As a result of the outage, McDowell County Schools and McDowell Tech operated under a three-hour delay until the situation was under control.

According to the Foothill Weather Network’s 7-Day Forecast, Monday’s weather was estimated partly sunny with variable clouds with highs of 57 degrees Fahrenheit and lows of 42. Tuesday’s weather is estimated mostly sunny with highs of 68 and lows of 34.

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