Residents near Catawaba River prepare for more possible flooding

Residents near Catawaba River prepare for more possible flooding

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by BORA KIM / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @BoraKimWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 6 at 8:01 PM

CATAWABA COUNTY, N.C. -- Residents near the Catawaba River are bracing for possible flooding.

Tommy Daniel, a mechanic, tells NBC Charlotte his home was spared last month when the river rose four feet over capacity. Daniel is among the residents on Riverside Drive, who blame Duke Energy for releasing too much water  without giving residents enough time to react. Dozens of homes, boats and ramps were damaged, including tools inside Daniel’s shed.

“Honestly, I'm still cleaning up from the last one. My shop has been a mess. Spent the last four days going through it, pulling stuff that got ruined in the last flood,” he said.

Although Daniel spent the last week sifting through his tools for insurance purposes, he is keeping a close eye on the water levels. 

He has moved his boats, jet skis and other valuables to higher ground, and is getting ready to help his neighbors do the same.

"If we get a good bit up in the mountains, definitely we need to move stuff back out,” he said.

He wants to know what Duke Energy is doing before the rain falls to ensure they are not overcome by flooding.

Paige Sheehan, a spokesperson with Duke Energy, says the company has a severe weather plan in place, and reminds customers to do the same.  She says water is moved through 13 different dams, from 11 different lakes on the Catawba River, and that they are working to minimize flooding. 

"We are moving water down river in response to the rains we got a day or so, and what we are also doing is making room for potential rain that we might get in the next few days as a result of the tropical,” she said.

Duke energy does not anticipate a repeat of rainfall that damaged dozens of homes along the Catawba River last month.

"The event we experienced a few weeks ago was really extraordinary. In that we saw 11 inches of rain in one part of our service area. It flowed into the lake and had to go downstream. This is a tropical storm and tropical storms can be very unpredictable. I think the important thing is for folks to be aware of what is happening around them and be prepared,” said Sheehan.

Customers can easily report and track power outages, and monitor lake levels at:

www.duke-energy.com/storms

www.duke-energy.com/lake/levels.asp

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