Landslides causing damage in western NC, making area dangerous for civilians

FRANKLIN, N.C. -- Several landslides in Swain County have closed U.S. 19/74 and the Nantahala River in western North Carolina, according to a U.S. Forest Service news release.

The road in Bryson City, around 65 miles from Asheville, was closed Saturday night and will stay closed until Monday at 5 p.m., the NC Department of Transportation says.

A detour has been established for drivers trying to get through the area.

"Westbound vehicles will take NC 28 West to Steccoah then NC 143 South to Robbinsville then NC 129 South to Topton and US 19/74. Eastbound traffic goes in reverse," the release says.

NCDOT crews are clearing the debris in the area and their work is expected to continue into Tuesday.

Since landslide debris has flowed into the Nantahala River and made the passage extremely dangerous, river rafting and kayaking trips have been suspended temporarily.

Earlier Sunday, vehicles were stuck between slides in the gorge and NCDOT said that a path was cleared for the vehicles.

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