Storm causes significant damage in parts of Caldwell

Jan. 31, 2013 @ 05:43 PM

A major storm system moving through Caldwell and the surrounding area caused a small mudslide Wednesday night on U.S. 321 at the bridge spanning the Catawba River at the county line, as well as significant flooding along the Johns River and the destruction of a bridge in Globe.

Caldwell County Emergency Management reported that a northbound lane of U.S. 321 at the Caldwell-Catawba county line was temporarily blocked by mud. The N.C. Department of Transportation was called and the road cleared by 9 p.m., according to a press release issued by the county.

Extensive flooding in the Globe area of northwestern Caldwell County destroyed the Upton bridge, forcing the closure of Globe Road, said Kenneth Teague with Caldwell County Emergency Management. NCDOT was working to repair the bridge.

Johns River Road was closed by high water and was impassible through the night, with both bridges underwater. Both of the road's bridges were being repaired by NCDOT crews Thursday. Teague said several spots under the bridges were washed out, and rock had to be brought in to make the bridges passable again.

In addition to the damage to bridges on state-maintained roads, several private bridges were damaged or destroyed in the storm. The Johns River Camp suffered significant damage, which came as something of a surprise since another body of water in the area is the usual suspect in causing havoc in heavy rains.

“Johns River hasn’t given us much of a problem (in the past),” he said. “It’s always Wilson Creek. Wilson Creek was actually very good to us this time.”

Roads near Edgemont Baptist Church in the Wilson Creek area were reportedly flooded, though.

Teague said approximately 6 inches of rain fell in the Edgemont area of Caldwell County. Wilson Creek crested at 9.5 feet, while Mulberry Creek crested at 4.5 feet. Most of the rain, Teague said, fell between Grandfather Mountain and Blowing Rock. The total rainfall at Mulberry Creek was measured at 3.38 inches, and 2.68 inches was measured at Bailey’s Camp.

No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.