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Flash Flooding Hits the High Country Hard From the Remnants of Tropical Storm Fred

By Nathan Ham

Heavy rain fell through most of the day and night on Tuesday with numerous areas having to deal with flooding concerns, including evacuations in Avery County and many low-water bridges covered by rapidly-moving water. 

As first reported by WBTV, three campgrounds, a trailer park and some residents at Linville Harbor were evacuated after numerous roads were underwater. Areas of Avery County reported upwards of eight to nine inches in places. 

Elsewhere in the High Country, the usual low-lying areas of Boone were flooded, including the Boone Mall parking lot where at least one car was parked through the duration of the heavy rain with water up to the windows. 

Low-water bridges in the area along the Watauga River and the New River were underwater Wednesday morning. Most areas reported totals between 4-8 inches of rain Monday through the early hours of the morning on Wednesday. 

At one point on Tuesday, parts of the High Country were under a Flash Flood Watch, Flash Flood Warning, Tornado Watch and Tornado Warning, according to the National Weather Service

Crews Still Working to Restore Power to Areas Hit the Hardest

Battling numerous downed trees, flooding and debris since Tuesday evening that continues Wednesday morning, Blue Ridge Energy line technicians have worked throughout the night to restore power to cooperative members after remnants of Tropical Storm Fred impacted the area.

Over 9,000 Blue Ridge Energy members had loss of power due to the damaging storm that brought flooding, down trees and debris and damaged powerlines and poles. As of 6:30 am Tuesday, 713 members in Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany service areas remain without power as line technicians wait for receding waters and work to clear bridges and roads of debris and downed trees to reach remaining areas with damage to power lines and poles.

Watauga and Ashe counties were hardest hit by the storm. In Watauga’s service area, 5,709 members were impacted due to damage in 51 different locations on the cooperative’s system, with 329 members still awaiting restoration (5 of those in Avery County) as of 6:30 am Tuesday. In Ashe District, 2,581 members were impacted by damage to 42 different locations on the cooperative’s system, with 180 awaiting restoration this morning (10 of those in Wilkes County).

In other locations: Alleghany District had 16 locations of damage with 271 members impacted; 204 members are awaiting restoration Tuesday morning. In Caldwell District, 306 members had power loss due to damage in 15 different locations, with all power restored by 1:45 am Tuesday.

Members are also advised to stay far away from downed power lines as they can still be energized and dangerous, even deadly! Members are asked to report downed power lines and their location by calling any local Blue Ridge Energy district office to speak to a member services representative.

As of a 9:30 a.m. update from Mountain Electric Cooperative, there are still residents in Avery County and Johnson County, Tennessee without power and crews are working to restore power there as soon as possible. 

Stacy Campany shot this video of the Boone Mall parking lot around 10:15 Tuesday night.