BRYSON CITY – A band of heavy rains late Friday night started a mudslide that closed U.S. 19/74 in the Nantahala Gorge.
N.C. Department of Transportation officials arrived on the scene, about three miles west of the Nantahala Outdoor Center, after 9 p.m. and immediately closed the road for the safety of traveling public.
The closure is expected to last through most of Saturday while crews clear and inspect the area.
During the closure, the detour will direct westbound traffic from U.S. 19/74 to N.C. 28 to Stecoah, N.C. 143 to Robbinsville and U.S. 129 to Topton and U.S. 74. Eastbound traffic will go to Robbinsville and then Stecoah en route back to U.S. 19/74. Visitors may still access the Nantahala Outdoor Center from the east.
Engineers will divert the excess rain down a ditch and through pipe to prevent the water from washing out a section of the road. NCDOT crews mobilized six tandem dump trucks, a mid-sized excavator and one low-boy truck to handle debris removal which will start at sunrise on Saturday.