Recent Storm Damage from Tropical Storm Alberto has Caused Several Area Closures. Please visit the Town of Lake Lure’s website for the latest updates.
6/3/18 – 11:36 pm – Facebook Post from Town of Lake Lure – Hwy 64-74 IS OPEN
Although the NC DOT Road Conditions website still has Hwy 64-74 through Bat Cave as still closed. Chimney Rock Village officials report that the road is now open. However, they also caution that delays, as well as some traffic stops, could take place on Monday, as crews continue to work in the area.
6/3/18 – 4:15 pm – Facebook Post from Town of Lake Lure – LAKE IS OPEN
The lake is open!!!!
Please stay away from the dam, as the trash gates are open and the current is strong there. The boat launch areas will remain closed until we can clear the debris piles. Please use caution. Boat and swim at your own risk.
Updates As of June 2, 2018:
A Joint Update from the Town of Lake Lure, Chimney Rock Village & the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge
In the hope of not overloading citizens and visitors with too much information from multiple sources, and because so much of the storm response overlaps municipalities and organizations, we’re providing this special joint update from the Town of Lake Lure, Chimney Rock Village, and the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge
The following information represents the latest helpful updates we have concerning the response to Tropical Storm Alberto and the week ahead.
Despite the serious impact of over 20 inches of rain in Western North Carolina over the last two weeks, our businesses and many of our area’s best recreational assets are indeed open and ready to welcome visitors and local residents.
There has been a great outpouring of interest by area residents who want to help with the cleanup and recovery.
However, what we’re hearing from every side is that the very best thing you can do in the short-term is come out and support local businesses in the days and weeks ahead.
Our shops, restaurants, attractions, and lodging properties are all open! (More on that below).
Let’s jump in and see where things stand:
THE LAKE REMAINS TEMPORARILY CLOSED – LAKE REOPENED 6/3/18
An unprecedented amount of sediment has flowed into the lake from the more than 90-mile watershed that feeds this already sediment-prone body of water.
Consider that at the height of the storm, the lake was rising half an inch every 15 minutes! That is an astounding amount of rainfall and run-off coming into the Lake from the Rocky Broad River.
To balance the amount of water coming into the lake from the Rocky Broad River, Town staff monitored the floodgates at the dam 24-hours a day, somehow managing to keep the lake at a steady level of no more than 3 feet below normal levels throughout the duration of the storm.
In order to do so, at one point all three floodgates were open to a height of ten feet each.
As one area journalist commented while covering the storm, “Lake Lure may be the bathtub, but it doesn’t control the fawcett!” And last week, it seemed the fawcett was never going to stop.
In the interest of safety and to give The Town of Lake Lure’s Public Works crews, as well as the Lake Lure Police Department a chance to get the lake cleaned up as much as possible, the decision was made to close the lake to public boat traffic.
Crews have been working double duty over the weekend to get the lake cleaned of trees, limbs, floating docks, and other debris.
It’s a dirty, slow-going and difficult job involving a minimum of three people per boat. Our sincere thanks to Town of Lake Lure staff, local contractors, and volunteers, for their dedication and positive, can-do approach to the job.
By Monday we should have a better handle on when we can re-open the lake.
LAKE LURE & CHIMNEY ROCK VILLAGE – OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
Town and Village personnel, as well as a handful of loyal volunteers, have worked tirelessly throughout the week to get local businesses ready to re-open and welcome residents and visitors back with open arms.
While the landslide on Hwy 64-74 west of Chimney Rock Village still has the road closed West of the Village, the highway is open leading into Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village from the East.
The goal remains to get that road re-opened by Monday, June 4th.
In the meantime, the public parking lot is open, cleared and free of charge all weekend. All of the businesses are open.
STATUS OF TOWN PARKS & OTHER RECREATIONAL ASSETS IN HICKORY NUT GORGE:
Buffalo Creek Park: Closed until conservation and trail crews can get out to inspect any damage or erosion issues on the 1,500-acre park. A serious crack in the pavement on Buffalo Creek Road, leading to the park, is also hampering navigation in that area. NC DOT has created a detour involving Young’s Mountain.
Dittmer Watts Nature Trail: Open. The ground is wet and limbs and branches are down in some places, no other serious damage. Watch out for leaning trees in the woods.
Morse Park: Open, no serious issues.
Pool Creek Picnic Park: Open, no issues.
Lake Lure Flowering Bridge: Open, beautiful, and thriving from the abundance of rain!
Lake Lure Beach & WaterPark: Open.
Lake Lure Golf Club: Open, no serious issues.
Lake Lure Tours: Closed until the lake re-opens to recreational boat traffic. REOPENED 6/3/18
Chimney Rock Village Rocky Broad Riverwalk: Closed indefinitely. Wooden bridge and stone bridge washed down the river. Clean up crews and financial donations will be needed. More info to follow soon!
Chimney Rock Village Gathering Place Amphitheatre: Closed until further assessment. The venue sustained a great deal of mud and debris all around the concert area. More info to follow concerning the scheduled June 28th Music Thursday concert.
ROADS, HIGHWAYS & BRIDGES SLOWLY BEING REPAIRED, CLEARED OR RE-OPENED
N.C. Department of Transportation crews have reopened more than a dozen roads in the last 36 hours that were closed due to varying degrees of storm damage.
But 35 roads in our Western counties — four sections of highway and 31 secondary roads — remain closed due to a slide, a washout, or severe damage suffered in the last two weeks as more than 20 inches of rain pummeled areas of the mountains and pushed rivers and creeks far beyond their banks.
State transportation officials continue to urge drivers to be cautious when driving on roads that are susceptible to erosion and slides.
Crews across the mountain counties continue to assess damage, especially in areas where water is receding. They are removing debris, clearing ditches, and handling other essential tasks needed to get roads open.
The primary focus remains clearing the pavement and inspecting the integrity of roads so motorists may return to driving on their regular routes.
Complete restoration will be a long process in many cases and last through the summer in some spots.
- Burke County crews cleared a slide on U.S. 221 on Thursday.
- McDowell County crews re-opened U.S. 70 on Thursday as well.
- On Interstate 40 West heading up Old Fort Mountain from McDowell County into Buncombe County, the far right of three lanes are closed at mile marker 72 and again at mile marker 66. Those may open over the weekend.
- A section of U.S. 221 in Avery County remains closed while the road is rebuilt, a process that may last through June.
- The northbound lane of N.C. 80 requires continuing attention.
- U.S. 64/74A north of Chimney Rock will remain closed until that slide is cleared. Target date is Monday, June 4th. REOPENED 6/3/18
- A section of Buffalo Creek Road north of Rumbling Bald Resort is also closed with a detour using Youngs Mountain.
- U.S. 176 in Polk County remains closed.
- All other closures are on secondary roads in Avery, Buncombe, Clay, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Macon, McDowell, Rutherford, Polk, Swain and Transylvania Counties.
CHIMNEY ROCK AT CHIMNEY ROCK STATE PARK, DIGGING OUT AND CLEANING UP – PARK REOPENED 6/9/18
Work within Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is going well following the failure of a retaining wall at the top of the mountain as well as numerous downed trees and damaged areas on the roadway up to the Park.
There is still a great deal of cleanup to do, but State Park officials say they are beginning to make a dent.
Follow the Park’s website for the latest updates.
WHO’S READY FOR SOME FLOWERS, CHAMPAGNE, AND SOME OLD FASHIONED FELLOWSHIP WITH GOOD FRIENDS?
Collectively, we’re getting pretty good at this emergency management thing. Still, it’s been a tough week for residents, business owners, trusty volunteers, and of course, our amazing First Responders.