Rain continues, floodwaters close some roads in Caldwell, Watauga counties

COLLETTESVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Tony Pritchard turned onto the Brown Mountain Beach Road in Caldwell County Tuesday morning with plans to drive up along Wilson Creek.

Unfortunately, it would mean driving through Wilson Creek. Floodwaters had spilled onto the roadway, inundating a 50 foot stretch.

"It don't look too good," he said as he surveyed the flooded spot.

Because it was only a couple of inches, he decided to drive through in his pickup truck, and did, without any issues.

Within an hour the water was higher and the road was shut down until waters receded later. On Johns River Road, at a section near the newer concrete bridge, the pavement was covered with a couple of feet of fast moving floodwaters.

Collettesville Fire/Rescue Chief Larry Price was out checking trouble spots and reminding people to stay away from moving water.

"It's too dangerous," he said. "Drivers need to turn around."

Barricades went up closing the road and will remain up until the area is safe to cross. The key is what happens in the mountains, said Price. Any heavy rain in the high country will flow into the foothills.

The mountains can create a funnel effect and turn a couple of inches of rain into several feet of floodwaters.

In Watauga county, the Watauga River was out of its banks and covering some bridges by afternoon.

With the rainfall rates slackening as the day went on, emergency officials were hoping the worst was over.

They expect water levels to d rop overnight in the mountains and should be going down in the foothills not long after that. Attention then will shift downstream. By late Tuesday, water levels in some lakes along the Catawba River were rising.

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