HAYWOOD COUNTY, N.C. — Updated Story (6/11/19): All lanes have been reopened on I-40 W in Haywood County, North Carolina, a tweet from the North Carolina Department of Transportation said Tuesday.
The highway had been closed near the Tennessee state line and then limited to one lane on Monday after heavy rains and a rockslide.
Original Story (6/10/19): Heavy rains over the weekend contributed to a small rockslide that closed all lanes of I-40 W in Haywood County near the Tennessee state line, according to North Carolina Department of Transportation.
The closure is at Exit 7, Cold Springs Creek Road.
At this time, NCDOT said it has reopened one lane of I-40 West, and believes they will have the interstate cleared overnight. The single-lane closure will remain in effect overnight, which could be extended if more preventative work needs to be done.
Before that, hundreds of cars were stuck in traffic for hours, including Dorothy Garrett and her husband from Maryville.
"Pulled out on the highway and was stuck in traffic for about four hours from quarter to two to six o'clock," said Garrett.
She thought she was stopped by a bad traffic accident. It was a couple hours before she learned it was a rockslide.
"I thought oh my goodness I don't know what we're gonna do, we had some peanut butter crackers and a bottle of water," said Garrett.
Luckily they were close enough to walk to a rest stop to use the bathroom, and did make it back home to Maryville after over a four hour delay.
Scalers worked to dislodge a handful of rocks from the mountain after three boulders were found in a ditch beside the interstate. NCDOT said its engineers are conducting further examinations to make sure the area is safe to drive through.
This slide is near where a slide occurred earlier this year. That slide shut down the interstate in both directions. All lanes reopened back in May.