State of emergency declared in Catawba County

State of emergency declared in Catawba County

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by GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte

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WCNC.com

Posted on July 5, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 5 at 6:32 PM

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. -- Residents near Lookout Shoals Lake in Catawba County are keeping a wary eye toward the skies.

The County Board of Commissioners has declared a state of emergency because of potential Friday night flooding.

"Well, I used to live at Lake Lookout. Now I live in Lake Lookout," joked Howard Ervin. He moved to Ridge Road 15 months ago and he has seen plenty of flooding.

"May sixth we had to evacuate for three days, and we've had two floods since then, and now this one, so it's a headache."

The lake is 3-feet, nine-tenths of an inch over flood stage. Emergency Management says that once the level gets to 4 feet, Duke Energy will cut power to the area and residents will be asked to leave. There are no restrictions or evacuations currently in place, but the emergency declaration does allow county officials to request state assistance.

"Unfortunately we’re in a real grey space. Things were looking seriously bad this morning," said Karyn Yaussy, Emergency Management Coordinator.

"We thought we were going to have flood waters in people's living rooms and bedrooms and things like that by this evening, but things have stabilized just a little bit this afternoon. So everyone is crossing their fingers and hoping for the best," she said.

The emergency designation will streamline things if the worst happens.

"That brings a lot of resources to us if we need them in a hurry," said Yaussy.

Flood waters are plaguing the northern and eastern parts of the county along the Catawba River. The river is expected to continue to rise for at least the next day.

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