High rains bring flooding to Cherokee

by Jan 16, 2013Front Page, NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments


High rains have caused the Oconaluftee River to flood throughout Cherokee.  (ELVIA WALKINGSTICK/One Feather)

High rains have caused the Oconaluftee River to flood throughout Cherokee. (ELVIA WALKINGSTICK/One Feather)




High rains that began on Sunday, Jan. 13 and have lasted several days have caused many areas in and around Cherokee to flood.

“There weren’t any personal injuries caused by the flooding; however, there was at least two homes’ basements that were flooded, related Ray Stamper, Cherokee PSCC program manager.  “Both were close to a stream that went over its banks.”

“There were several roads where the water level was over the roadway.  They include: the Parkway entrance (US441), the Saunooke Bridge, Big Cove Road (Piney Grove section), Meetinghouse Road, Old No. 4 Road (Jenkins Bridge) and Whitewater Drive.”

Stamper reported Wednesday that the water had gone down some and was no longer covering most of the roadways listed.

Cherokee County reported a bridge out and a sewer line leak which caused Murphy High School to be without water.  Cherokee’s varsity basketball team was scheduled to travel to Murphy on Tuesday, Jan. 15, but those games were cancelled.  Also, Cherokee’s varsity wrestling team was scheduled to host Murphy on Tuesday, but that match was cancelled due to the weather.

Yona Wade, Cherokee Central Schools public relations, related that the schools had “minor drainage issues” and opened on a two-hour delay on Wednesday for safety reasons.  “Other than that, we weathered the storm fairly well.”

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has also been affected.  The Park reported a landslide on Wednesday morning that has closed Newfound Gap Road.

“As of midnight, Tuesday, Jan. 15, the Park received 8.56 inches of rain measured at Cherokee, 7.4 inches at Newfound Gap and 6.86 inches at LeConte,” Park officials said in a statement.  “Rivers and streams have been running fast and high since Sunday when the rains began.  There are currently multiple temporary road closures throughout the Park due to high water.”

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