Heavy rains today have caused a rockslide in the Nantahala Gorge.
Because of the slide, U.S. 19/74 is closed for the rest of today and at least through the daylight hours of Friday, February 7, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
This slide is locationed near Hewitts Road where another rockslide closed the highway a month ago.
“There’s probably 50 or 60 truck loads of material in there that we’ll have to haul away,” says Wesley Grindstaff, maintenance engineer of division 14 in a press release. “It’s not all on the road, but that’s what we’ll have to remove.”
NC DOT is concerned that the slide has also change the drainage path of the bank which could bring additional debris into the road. Crews are working to remove the current debris and fix the drainage path.
The detour through Robbinsville and Stecoah adds about 20 minutes to any drive. Westbound drivers will take N.C. 28 to N.C. 143 and U.S. 129 back to U.S. 19/74. Drivers heading east will use the same roads in reverse.