State Of Emergency Declared In Catawba County


by Audrina Bigos
by Photographer: Tim Mullican

CATAWBA COUNTY, NC- Catawba County officials declared a State of Emergency on Friday after severe flooding in the northern and eastern parts of the county.

Flood waters forced some families on Lookout Shoals Lake and the Carpenter's Cove area out of their homes.

"We love it out here so it's something that we deal with. But now we can't deal with it because it's too often," said Ron Steelmon, a Claremont resident.

Steelmon spent thousands of dollars remodeling his home on Ridge Street off Lookout Shoals Lake after severe flooding in May. His repairs wrapped up this week and now, more flooding has him frustrated with Duke Energy.

"We know they can control this water on this small lake. They can take it up and down at any minute," said Steelmon.

Duke Energy says it's working around the clock to keep water levels as low as possible.

"I've never seen the water this high so I just don't understand why Duke Energy can't control the levels a little bit better than this," said Susan Moorefield, a Claremont resident.

“If it comes up another 12 to 14 inches, the house is ruined again," said Steelmon.

Officials with Catawba County Emergency Management say they expect water levels to continue to rise for the next two days.

"The real variable in that is the weather. What's happening in the mountains and what flows into the Catawba River," said Karyn Yaussey, the emergency management coordinator.

With more rain comes a bigger threat and the State of Emergency could bring more restrictions and evacuations.

"Now is a good time to get your vehicles, your boats and your jet skis to higher ground. Now is the time to locate your important papers, your medications so you can take them with you if you do need to evacuate," said  Yaussey.

"The hope is that  the water doesn't get any higher and we'll just keep moving forward I guess,” said Moorefield.

Catawba County officials are using their Community Alert System to get important information out to affected residents during the next few days.

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