Dam safe from mudslide; mandatory evacuations lifted in western NC

The area has been hit by heavy rain as the remnants of tropical storm Alberto headed inland

The area has been hit by heavy rain as the remnants of tropical storm Alberto headed inland

The National Weather Service stated that a flash flood emergency was in place for McDowell County, including the cities of Marion and Old Fort.

The weather service declared a "flash flood emergency" saying "McDowell county emergency management reports water is spilling around the sides of Lake Tahoma dam".

Lake Tahoma is located about 5 miles northwest of Marion, North Carolina, and about 60 miles northweat of Charlotte.

A landslide caused by heavy rainfall from Alberto increased fears about the integrity of the dam.

NBC affiliate WYFF of Greenville, South Carolina, said news anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer were killed.

The evacuation order was canceled as of 10:15 a.m. EDT Wednesday, after Lake Tahoma was deemed safe after an inspection.

Torrential rain lead to widespread flooding in western North Carolina Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Widespread flooding was reported in McDowell County, including along the Catawba River and its tributaries like Mill, Crooked, Nix, Curtis and Mackey creeks.

A landslide shut down all westbound lanes on Interstate 40 at the top of Old Fort Mountain Tuesday night, but the roadway has since been cleared and reopened. "Residents living along the river and in other low-lying areas or areas prone to landslides are urged to take higher ground immediately". A current Flash Flood Warning is active until 12:30 pm Wednesday.

Rushing water is also an issue on Wednesday in Buncombe County, where a mobile home park flooded.

Chief Engineer Tim Little with the North Carolina Department of Transportation said more than 50 roads remain closed throughout the state due to flooding, washouts and downed trees. Most of the evacuees are staying in one of three shelters open in McDowell County; other shelters are open in Buncombe, Polk and Rutherford counties More than 6,500 power outages were reported across western counties, mostly in Henderson, McDowell Cleveland, Buncombe, Swain and Transylvania. Stream levels on the Johns River continued to rise, with more flooding expected.

On Monday, subtropical storm "Alberto" hit the coast of Florida.

After moving into the Tennessee Valley, the system is forecast to head into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Subtropical storm Alberto rolled ashore Monday afternoon in the Florida Panhandle before quickly weakening to a depression.

Hurricane season is set to begin officially Friday.

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