Lookout Shoals Lake neighbors experience flooding again

Updated: Nov. 12, 2020 at 11:16 PM EST
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CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Neighbors who live along Lookout Shoals Lake in Catawba County were greeted by flooding early Thursday morning.

Christi Carpenter got the call about potential flooding and alerted her neighbors.

“We go around and we try to help our neighbors,” Carpenter said. “We load up trailers and put everything we can in the cars - make sure people have their pets secured.”

Carpenter and some of her neighbors had to evacuate. Neighbors say the water quickly rushed in and flooded their homes.

Carpenter says it happened fast. She took a video of the flooding at her home. It happened around 7:30 Thursday morning.

She says the recent flooding happened at the home where she grew up in. She says flooding happens often in the area - it’s something she is used to but wishes something can be done.

“We’ve lost a lot of things,” she said. “You lose a lot of family mementos through the years. We’ve learned not to keep anything that you really want - you keep it on higher ground.”

Catawba Emergency leaders say Thursday was a stressful and busy day.

“We sent fire department and rescue squads out to the most severe areas to knock on doors and make sure that our residents could get out on their own,” Catawba County Emergency Services Coordinator Karyn Yaussy said. “And if they couldn’t start - arrange for assistance to get them out.”

Leaders say more than eight inches of rain came down in Catawba County within 36 hours. Crews say that is a lot of rain to handle.

In addition to Lookout Shoals Lake - four creeks in Catawba county flooded: Lyle, Clarks, Snow, and Falling Creeks. Several roads, bridges, and a park were shut down because of the weather. Leaders say they are waiting for the water to recede.

“We need for the river to go down probably at least 4 or 5 feet,” Yaussy said. “Before we can start looking at restoring power and letting people go back into and staying and living in their homes.”

While emergency crews assess the damage, Carpenter is left to rebuild.

“We just know it’s going to be weeks and weeks of cleanup ahead,” Carpenter said. “And trying to get back to normal.”

Carpenter said despite the frequent flooding - she will not move. County Emergency leaders report so far there have been no injuries.

WBTV also spoke to Anthony Setters, another resident living along the lake. He said he tried to save some items in his yard as the water moved on to his property.

“You start thinking about what’s really important. What do I box up? What do I take In a short amount of time? You got an hour to figure out what really matters to you, you know, so it was pretty scary," said Setters.

He said he thinks Duke Energy, who is responsible for moving water through several waterways in the Carolinas, could have prepared better for the storm.

“They need to try to understand that you need to plan a little further ahead," said Setters.

WBTV spoke to Kim Crawford, a Duke Energy spokesperson, by phone Thursday night. She spoke about how the power company had tried to take a proactive approach to move water.

“We started moving water several days ago, but got much more than what was forecast all on Lake Hickory so we got about 8 inches in 32 hours and more than 5 inches in about 9 hours," explained Crawford. "We can mitigate flooding to a certain extent, but can’t prevent it entirely, especially in this kind of rain event.”

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