Extensive rainfall forces evacuation, closes I-40 lanes following mudslide


McDowell County Emergency Management officials have lifted an earlier evacuation order for areas below Lake Tahoma that had been put in place due to concern about dam safety.

I-40 travelers can expect delays in the Old Fort/Black Mountain Area. A mudslide has forced the closure of two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane one mile east of the Dunsmore Avenue exit (66), according to the NCDOT. This is in the area where I-40 goes over the mountain and is three lanes wide in both directions. The lanes are expected to re-open by 1 p.m. Friday.

The NCDOT released the following concerning the incident:

“Raleigh — Two eastbound lanes and one westbound lane on I-40 have been reopened at mile marker 67 at the Buncombe/McDowell County line where the interstate had been closed due to mudslide.

“Extensive damage to the median barrier will require one eastbound lane and two westbound lanes to remain closed for several days for repairs to be made.

“Motorists should plan for delays and allow extra travel time. Transportation officials remind drivers to obey the directions of law enforcement and be aware of difficult driving conditions.”

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