Streams in the upper Reddies River, Lewis Fork Creek and Elk Creek watersheds and nearby left their banks after those areas of northwestern and western Wilkes County received as much as 9.5 inches of rain Saturday through Sunday morning.
Flooding peaked around mid-morning Sunday and covered several roads in that part of Wilkes.
Late Monday afternoon, Wilkes Emergency Management Coordinator Suzanne Hamby said she was still gathering information about damage to determine if a disaster declaration would be sought.
Wilkes Cooperative Extension Director John Cothren said over 600 acres of corn were flooded. Cothren said public and private roads were damaged by floodwaters, private bridges were washed out, many miles of fencing were damaged and there was a large amount of soil erosion. Floodwaters also reached several residences.
Runoff surged down steep road banks, small branches became good-sized creeks and named streams left their banks. The worst flooding occurred near the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, including in the Purlear, Parsonsville, Wilbar and Ferguson areas.
A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website reported that 9.57 inches of rain were recorded at Elkville, which is on N.C. 268 West near where Elk Creek enters the Yadkin River in far western Wilkes, between around noon Saturday and mid-morning Sunday. With rain on Friday, the total was 11.63 inches at Elkville.
The Corps of Engineers website reported nearly 7 inches during the same period Saturday and Sunday farther up the Yadkin River at Patterson in Caldwell County. With Friday added, the total was about 8 inches.
In Lewis Fork Creek watershed
Residents of the North Prong of Lewis Fork Creek Valley in Parsonsville reported that their gauges collected nearly 8 inches of rain from noon Saturday to mid-morning Sunday.
The North Prong of Lewis Fork flooded Parsonsville Road near the Big Ivy Road intersection and at another location a short distance downstream.
A little farther downstream, the North Prong of Lewis Fork flooded part of a large bottomland area and the lower end of Stanton Loop near where it intersects with Parsonsville Road.
Near the intersection of Mount Pleasant Road and Cobblestone Lane in the Purlear community, rising floodwaters from the South Prong of Lewis Fork and a small tributary resulted in the evacuation of residents of three mobile homes about 10:30 p.m. Saturday. This was near the confluence of the north and south prongs of Lewis Fork Creek.
The people who were evacuated with assistance of the Champion Fire Department spent the night at the Champion Fire Station. By 9:30 a.m. Sunday, two of the three mobile homes were completely surrounded by floodwaters and the third was partly surrounded.
Pumpkin Run Creek flooded a bridge on Pumpkin Run Road, which is off U.S. 421 West in the Champion District.
In Reddies River watershed
Wilbar Fire Chief Rick Jennings said it was the worst flooding he had seen in the Wilbar community, which is on headwaters of the Reddies River, in his 25 or so years with that fire department.
The Wilbar Fire Department checked on residents of four homes along N.C. 16 North just south of the Wilbar Fire Station and suggested that they leave for higher ground as the South Prong of the Reddies River threatened to flood private roads to the homes about 8:30 a.m. Sunday, said Jennings. Some of the people left. They checked on people living in other flood-prone areas as well.
Wilbar firefighters were dispatched about midnight Saturday when a Chevrolet Suburban pulling a trailer loaded with four-wheelers overturned in N.C. 16 where it climbs the Blue Ridge escarpment.
Jennings said no one was injured and the driver of the Suburban was able to drive the vehicle down to the Wilbar Fire Station after it was flipped back on its wheels, but the wreck resulted in N.C. 16 North being closed to traffic for about an hour. The Glendale Springs Fire Department assisted by closing N.C. 16 North at the top of the mountain. Jennings pulled the trailer with the four-wheelers with his vehicle to the fire station.
Wilbar firefighters removed several downed trees from roadways. Old N.C. 16 and Colvard Road were both impacted by floodwaters.
On Elk Creek
Wilkes Rescue Squad Chief Cole Wyatt said the squad checked on people living in the Elk Creek-Darby Road and Triplett Town Road areas of Ferguson who couldn’t get to public roads due to floodwaters of Elk Creek Sunday morning.
“We thought we were going to have to use a boat to make access but the homeowners were fine,” said Wyatt.
Elsewhere in Wilkes
Beaver and Warrior creeks in the Boomer community also flooded, but there were no reports of roads being covered.
No serious flooding was reported elsewhere in Wilkes, but fire departments removed several down trees from roadways.
There were scattered mudslides in Wilkes.