UPDATE: US 19/74 and schools closed after mudslides and flooding

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flooding

CHEROKEE COUNTY, NC – UPDATE: Cherokee County Schools and US 19/ 74 in Nantahala Gorge closed Feb. 7. due to extensive flooding and mudslides.

The weather  and rock slide resulted in the closure of US 19/74 through at least Friday, Feb. 7. North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) are actively removing debris from the area near Hewitts Road. The drainage path was altered so crews are working to correct that as well.

Drivers should take the detour through Robbinsville and Stecoah and westboard commuters are advised to take NC 28 to NC 143 and US 129, back to US 19/74.

Original story is below:

Hazardous weather conditions expected to continue into the night and have already resulted in mudslides in Andrews and flooding across the county.

The National Weather Services has predicted for this afternoon: “Rain. Patchy fog before 3pm. High near 62. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.”

For tonight: “Rain likely. Patchy fog before 10pm. Otherwise, cloudy, with a low around 33. West wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.”

There’s also 40% chance of snow and wintry mix on Friday morning.

The Oconaluftee Island Park and Cherokee County Rest Area, near U.S. Hwy. 74 are closed due to flooding.

Portions of Tucker White, Hollar, and Beaver Creek Road are also experiencing flooding.

NCDOT and state patrol are monitoring the situation at the Nantahala Gorge, where water is running across in several spots.

Aquone Road experienced a mudslide. Image courtesy of James Reid.

In Andrews, Aquone Road is closed due to an early morning mudslide. Officials advise to take US 19/129.

Cherokee County Schools closed for the day with an optional workday for teachers. They haven’t released a decision about tomorrow as out 2:07 p.m.

Tri-County Community College notified students that it will be closed all day Thursday and Friday.

Clay County’s witnessed similar weather conditions.

Please take your time if heading out in this weather and be prepared to take alternate routes.

Feature image courtesy of Caitlin Hinkle of Beaver Ridge Road.

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