Warnings issued about waterfalls after a deadly 2018 in NC

Elk River Falls dangers

ELK PARK, NC (WBTV) - Avery County officials are expecting a lot of people to come up the mountains as a heat wave moves into the foothills and piedmont this weekend. Many will go to places like Elk River Falls and that concerns authorities.

“It is a hazardous place,” says Sheriff Kevin Frye.

Two people drowned there last year as well as many others getting injured with everything from broken bones to worse. The problem at the Elk River Falls is that the pool below it looks like a perfect spot to jump into from atop the falls or go swimming in from below. It’s not, says the sheriff.

After more than a year of above-average rainfall there is a lot of debris beneath the surface, said Frye. Even experienced swimmers can get caught up in it and get into serious trouble.

New warning signs have been placed up on the trail leading to the falls. Closing the site is not an option, said officials, because it is national forest land. Extra patrols will take place during the summer and more warning signs are possible as well.

Frye says he hopes people will enjoy the view and that’s it.

Copyright 2019 WBTV. All rights reserved.