Evacuation Order Lifted for Lake Tahoma Dam Area

May 30, 2018

Dam at Lake Tahoma, NC
Credit David Wilson / Flickr

Authorities are calling off an evacuation notice in the North Carolina mountains, finding that a dam there is safe and not in danger of breaking. 

McDowell County Emergency Management sent a message to the public around 10:15 a.m. Wednesday saying engineers have determined the dam at Lake Tahoma is safe.

The dam is about 80 miles northwest of Charlotte. More than 2,000 people had been ordered to evacuate the area near Lake Tahoma early Wednesday morning amid worries that heavy rain and a nearby landslide could cause the dam to fail. 

Heavy rains from the fringes of Subtropical Storm Alberto caused widespread flooding Tuesday evening. Emergency officials order the evacuations because an engineer inspecting the dam was worried it might break before officials could get a better look in the daylight.

Dozens of roads in western North Carolina were blocked by mudslides or flooding, including Interstate 40 which closed for several hours near Old Fort.

Forecasters are warning that more flooding could be in the mix today, but say heavy rains will be isolated and not widespread.