(CNN) – Heavy rains and a landslide in the western North Carolina mountains “compromised the integrity” of a dam and triggered urgent calls for mandatory evacuations.
The National Weather Service cited reports early Wednesday from McDowell County emergency management officials that “water is spilling around the sides of Lake Tahoma dam. Evacuations ongoing south of the dam.”
Emergency officials say the dam is “at risk of imminent failure” and the weather service extended a flash flood warning for central McDowell County until 12:30 p.m. EDT.
“This is a life-threatening situation. Heed all evacuation orders immediately! If you are not threatened by floodwaters, shelter in place.”
Richelle Bailey, spokeswoman for McDowell County’s emergency management department, said state engineers were examining the dam on Wednesday morning. She said about 2,000 people live in the evacuation area and there are about 200 people in shelters.
— Nathan West (@NWestAVL) May 30, 2018
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