N.C. dam evacuations canceled after landslide put area in danger

NC community urged to evacuate amid flooding

Authorities in western North Carolina canceled evacuations in an area south of the Lake Tahoma dam, which had been in "imminent danger" of failing after a landslide. The landslide was set off by heavy rainfall associated with Alberto, which made landfall as a subtropical storm on Memorial Day.

Local officials said Wednesday morning that an engineer had performed a safety inspection and determined that the evacuation order was no longer needed.

After midnight Tuesday, the National Weather Service had declared a flash flood emergency in the area:

CBS affiliate WSPA-TV of Spartanburg, South Carolina, reports that a state of emergency was declared in McDowell County.

McDowell County Emergency Management said some 2,000 people from campgrounds and residential communities near the dam and lake had evacuated, with roughly 200 at shelters. Old Fort and Marion are the hardest-hit communities.

Shelters were set up at two churches and a YMCA.

McDowell County Emergency Management Deputy Director Adrienne Jones told The Associated Press five minor injuries have been reported during water rescues as creeks and streams overflowed their banks and rockslides closed roads.

The Twitter account for the area's National Weather Service office retweeted a picture showing floodwaters in Burke County.

CBS affiliate WFMY-TV of Greensboro, North Carolina, reports a mudslide in Old Fort forced the shutdown of a portion of Interstate 40. Later, the North Carolina Department of Transportation said the right two westbound lanes and the left eastbound lane remained closed, probably until Friday afternoon.

WFMY-TV said western North Carolina communities were on high alert due to heavy rains and flash flooding and possible mudslides from Alberto. According to the AP, forecasters warned that the leftovers of the Atlantic hurricane season's first named storm were still capable of causing treacherous flooding as heavy precipitation spreads deeper into the nation's midsection. Flash flood watches were in effect for parts of several states from Alabama through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, the Carolinas and Virginia and West Virginia.

Lake Tahoma is a private lake in the mountains of Western North Carolina, located in McDowell County.