‘Dams’ and ‘wall of water effect’

Date: 2021-09-07 09:00:00

CRUSO – Mountain storms like the one that inundated this small community along the East Fork of the Pigeon River are notorious for their destructive power — and speed.

Part of that relates to mountain terrain and hydrology, while another key element is the intensity of the storms we’re seeing now. 

In Haywood County on Aug. 17, the two factors combined to create a deadly situation, a “wall of water” effect that cleared out trees and swept trailers downstream. Six people died in the flooding, mostly in the Cruso area, but the flooding extended all the way into Canton, where the Pigeon River caused extensive damage. 

More:Weather Service says, ‘we weren’t caught off guard,’ but Cruso flood survivors disagree

“The rain gauge at Cruso Fire Department, in the (Aug. 17) event, they had received about  8.7 inches of rain,” said the National Weather Service’s Josh Palmer, a service hydrologist. “That was the highest total that we officially recorded.”


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