Alberto is pushing deeper inland after making landfall in the Florida Panhandle on Memorial Day, causing flash flooding, mudslides, downed trees and power outages through parts of the South, East and central U.S., prompting officials to warn of an imminent dam failure in North Carolina.
Flooding and mudslides shut down highways in the mountains of North Carolina, west of Charlotte.
Shortly after midnight, the National Weather Service ordered mandatory evacuations as it issued a dire warning for areas downstream of Lake Tahoma that the dam holding water in the reservoir was about to give way.
McDowell county emergency management reports water is spilling around the sides of Lake Tahoma dam. Evacuations ongoing south of the dam. THIS IS A LIFE-THREATENING SITUATION. HEED ALL EVACUATION ORDERS IMMEDIATELY! If you are not threatened by floodwaters, shelter in place.
— NWS GSP (@NWSGSP) May 30, 2018
The Charlotte Observer reports:
“Shortly before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, a mudslide closed both directions of Interstate 40 in McDowell County, according to McDowell County Emergency Management.
No people or cars were trapped, according to a 10:26 p.m. tweet by Jeff Crum, chief meteorologist with Spectrum News North Carolina. ‘Details are subject to change as a better understanding of the unfolding situation is clarified by EMA folks in McDowell County,’ he added.”
Flash flood warnings have been issued for several other western counties in North Carolina, with the NWS cautioning that resulting landslides and rapidly rising waterways have created a life-threatening situation.
Although Alberto, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, was downgraded to a subtropical depression soon after it made landfall on Monday, its affects have continued to be felt, even at the fringes of the system.
Among other things, it has left 25,000 people in Alabama without power.
“We’ve had a lot of rain, but we got lucky. It was a constant rain but not a heavy rain,” Regina Myers, emergency management director in Walker County northwest of Birmingham, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying.
By late Tuesday, Alberto’s center was moving over western Kentucky.
As we reported on Tuesday, a local news crew – a reporter and photographer – were killed in North Carolina while covering the storm when a tree fell on their vehicle.