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Crews working to reopen more than 50 mountain roads

ASHEVILLE – More than 50 roads across western North Carolina remain closed as a result of heavy rain from Alberto during the last few days.

Some areas of the mountains have received more than 20 inches of rain this month, which has swelled rivers over their banks, washed out roads and bridges, and started landslides of various sizes.

State transportation officials are urging drivers to stay away from flooded roads and be especially cautious when driving in the mountains where the potential for landslides and road washouts continues.

Road conditions will change throughout the day. Some roads may reopen after water recedes or small slides are cleared. It’s also possible for road conditions to deteriorate and other roads to be closed.

N.C. Department of Transportation crews from Cherokee County to Surry County have been responding to incidents at all hours of the day.

Crews near the Buncombe-McDowell County line have been working to clear a slide that closed Interstate 40 near Mile Marker 66 at 10 p.m. on Tuesday night. All but one westbound lane is open, and officials expect to open that last lane late Friday or early Saturday.

Employees are assessing damage, removing debris, cleaning ditches, clearing pipes and performing tasks essential to getting the roads open. Right now, the primary focus is getting roads open and safe for all drivers. Crews will return later to perform finishing touches on the roads, ditches and bridges.

As of Thursday morning, more than 50 roads in 12 different counties are closed. The highways with a closure include U.S. 221 in Avery County, U.S. 221 in Burke County near N.C. 183, the northbound lane of N.C. 80 in McDowell County, a section of U.S. 70 in McDowell County and U.S. 64/74A just north of Chimney Rock. All other closures — due to high water, slides or washouts — are on secondary roads.

The following includes a list of other closed highways and some secondary rounds by county.

AVERY COUNTY
U.S. 221
Pilot Ridge Road

McDOWELL COUNTY
I-40 West: Outside lane closed
N.C. 80: Northbound lane closed

RUTHERFORD COUNTY
U.S. 64/74A

POLK COUNTY
U.S. 176: Between Harmon Field Road and Ozone Drive
Abrams & Moore Road
John Watson Road
Holberts Cove Road
Howard Gap Road
Green Rive Cove Road
Coxe Road

HENDERSON COUNTY
Howard Gap Road
River Road
Butler Bridge Road
Hooper Lane
Balfour Road
Nix Road
Brookside Camp Road
Middle Fork Road
Ledbetter Road
New Hope Road

TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY
Island Ford Road
Barclay Road
Davidson River Road
Cascade Lake Road
Wilson Road
Green Road
Hart Road
Merrill Lane

JACKSON COUNTY
Norton Road
Old Settlement Road
South River Road

SWAIN COUNTY
Old River Road

MACON COUNTY
River Road
Wayah Road
Junaluska Road
Carnes Road
Needmore Road
South Tryphosa Road

CLAY COUNTY
Lance Cove Road

For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.

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