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Picking Up the Pieces After Devastating Watauga Flood

By Paul T. Choate

Jan. 31, 2013. In the aftermath of last night’s flash flood, photographers from High Country Press have been out and about this morning taking photos of the damage. Many around Boone are picking up the pieces and trying to recover from what is left of their flooded homes or businesses.

“It was as bad as I’ve ever seen here,” said Town of Boone Streets Superintendent Greg Miller. “I’ve seen water come over streets in places I’ve never seen before in 27 years.”

Miller said many area roads were forced to close yesterday evening, including portions or all of: Boone Heights Drive, Deerfield Road, Faculty Street, Meadowview Drive, Winklers Creek Road, Fairway Drive and many, many more. 

Asked how he felt the town handled the situation, Miller said crews were out all day prior to the flood trying to get everything as ready as possible and making sure all the storm drains were clear, but also added that for flooding that severe there is “not a real good way” to prepare for it. 

“Once it reached a certain point there wasn’t a matter of anything stopped up,” Miller said. “There just was no place for all the water to go.”

Miller said the town’s streets actually came out pretty well, sustaining minimal damage and mainly just being obstructed by gravel, dirt and other debris. He added, however, that he knew there was a lot of property damage to local residences and businesses — the extent of which is not fully known yet. 

“We’re still in the process of tyring to clean up and we’re still getting a lot of calls about drainage problems,” he said. “That will probably go on for couple days.”

Stick with High Country Press for more on this developing story.

 Photos by Ken Ketchie