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Nantahala River Closed Through Nantahala Gorge

Hazardous conditions due to rockslides that occurred last weekend have closed the Nantahala River through the Nantahala Gorge according to the U.S. Forest Service.  That means all boating and other uses are prohibited through one of the most popular areas for outdoor water recreation in the region.  

The rockslides occurred last weekend following 3.5 inches of rain that fell in a short period of time Saturday.  The Forest Service says debris from those slides has blocked 90-percent of the river in the gorge in some cases.  The river is closed from the Beechertown Launch Ramp to the Silvermine Take-out Ramp.  The closure includes Ferebee Memorial Park.  There’s no timetable yet for when the river may re-open, but the Forest Service says its working as fast as it can to clean up the slides.

One lane of Highway 19/74 will be closed through the Gorge to help trucks and other heavy machinery that are working on the cleanup effort.  The slides were initially so bad that all of 19/74 was closed for more than a day after they occurred, but crews were able to re-open the road fully Monday evening.  

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.