Local and State Headlines for Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Death Toll From Florence Rises (Undated)

The death toll from Hurricane Florence continues to rise.  At least 31 people have died since the storm made landfall last week.  Most of those deaths have been in the Carolinas, where heavy rain has caused major flooding across both states.  One person was killed in Virginia as a flurry of tornadoes popped up as the remnants from Florence moved across the state Monday.  Florence is now a post-tropical cyclone which is bringing heavy rain to the Mid-Atlantic states. 

WNC Spared From Worst (Asheville, NC)

Communities in western North Carolina are dealing with relatively little clean up from Florence.  Many counties were under a flash flood watch as rain bands moved out of the region, but most areas were spared the devastation the storm left in other parts of North Carolina.  Some flooded roads in Yancey County remained closed on Monday.  All of the Black Mountain residents that were evacuated over the weekend were allowed back home yesterday.  

Parts Of Blue Ridge Parkway Re-open (Chimney Rock, NC)

The Blue Ridge Parkway is re-opening little by little as rangers assess possible damage following Florence.  A three mile stretch opened in the Asheville area yesterday, along with a portion outside Cherokee.  Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park will re-open today after crews cleared out debris Monday.    

Equestrian Center Cited For Pollution Violations (Tryon, NC)

The equestrian center in Tryon is facing pollution violations.  The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality cited the owners for allowing sediment to flow into several creeks during construction for the World Equestrian Games.  The violations were issued well before Hurricane Florence was a threat to the area.      

Deputies Find 300 Suspected Marijuana Plants (Madison County, NC)

Madison County investigators believe they discovered 300 marijuana plants during a welfare check.  Daniel Gaddis of Marshall was arrested on charges of trafficking marijuana.  He told deputies that he had a hemp permit, but there has reportedly been no permit issued for the address where the plants were found.  The sheriff says he's sure the plants aren't hemp.   

Rain Causes Damage On U.S. Highway 221 (Boone, NC)

A portion of U.S. Highway 221 near Boone is closed due to damage from the remnants of Florence.  The DOT says the roadway cracked from heavy rains in Ashe County and will be closed until Wednesday.  Low water bridges in Ashe were reportedly still underwater yesterday.

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