WATAUGA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Two people were killed when a landslide caused a house to collapse in Watauga County Wednesday afternoon.
The incident happened around 5 p.m. in the 200 block of Pine Ridge Road in the Heavenly Mountain subdivision in Boone.
According to the Boone Police Department, two people were inside the home at the time of the collapse.
Police said the heavy rains caused a hillside to give way, causing "catastrophic destruction" of the home from a gas leak.
Fire crews found the two people dead while they were searching in the rubble, officers said.
The Watauga County Sheriff's Office is conducting a death investigation.
No one else was inside the home at the time of the collapse. The victim's names were not released.
The Boone Police Department tweeted videos of crews cleaning up the rubble following the incident.
Rescue teams came from all over to help in the incident.
Weather had been a problem in the western parts of North Carolina all day and Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency after heavy rain swept through the area, causing mudslides and flooding Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
The governor's office said the declaration will help North Carolina coordinate storm response and prepare for any additional impacts.
Since Tuesday, four to seven inches of rain fell across parts of the North Carolina mountains, state officials said. Heavy rain triggered several mudslides and landslides all across our area and the stability of those soggy slopes remains the primary concern now.
"Our emergency response and transportation crews have been working through the night to keep North Carolinians safe as conditions deteriorate," Governor Cooper said. "But this storm isn't yet over. I'm urging people to keep a close eye on forecasts and flood watches, and asking drivers to use caution especially when traveling in our western counties."
More rain is expected to fall over the next few days due to the remnants of the subtropical depression Alberto moving through the Carolinas, resulting in the possibility for more flooding. State officials said the "primary concerns right now are the stability of mountain slopes and several dams."
According to the Charlotte Observer, rivers across western North Carolina surged with record-high water levels on Wednesday as flash flood warnings remained in effect through Thursday morning.