Several municipalities lifted their state of emergency designations and some parks reopened Tuesday following weekend flooding that washed out roads, damaged homes and closed schools in the Catawba Valley.
Hickory, Maiden and Catawba County ended their state of emergency designations on Tuesday at noon.
Surveying the damage
As roads in Catawba County washed away over the weekend, the flash flooding hit close to home for some residents.
Caisey Pyatte, a mother living in a neighborhood off Kool Park Road, said she and her husband received a call at 5 a.m. Sunday. It was a neighbor on the line, warning the couple of flooding. They found three feet of muddy water in their remodeled basement.
The water rushed in when the basement’s sliding door gave way to the water, Pyatte said. The air-conditioning unit and hot water heater stopped working, but Pyatte said she is most upset about losing her children’s sentimental valuables.
“We lost their school projects, cards they made, things like that,” Pyatte said.
The couple fished for their children’s pictures and they’re still drying some of them. However, Pyatte said their basement remodel is done for. “With everything else going on, it’s the last thing we’re worried about,” Pyatte said.
The family's 35-foot-long camper was also ruined by the flood. An insurance adjustor has yet to come, but Pyatte said she doubts it’s fixable.
Rising waters also caused trouble for Dwayne and Lori Benfield on Sunday.
While 67-year-old Dwayne was in Illinois, his wife Lori called him from the top of their vehicle as water rushed into their home Sunday morning.
“I have a funny feeling it’ll be a total loss,” Benfield said.
Benfield said four feet of water came through his 1939 house and ruined everything inside. In addition, Benfield’s 500-gallon heating oil tank washed out of the ground.
Benfield remembers the 2013 flood that swept through the area, but that flood didn’t ruin his home.
“2013 was nothing compared to this,” Benfield said. “[This] was a complete surprise.”
The Benfields are recruiting volunteers to help clean their property. Call Dwayne Benfield at 828-238-7258 or Lori Benfield at 828-238-6314 for more information.
Rains cause wastewater spills
Flooding in Catawba County caused five wastewater spills.
Hickory experienced three wastewater discharges totaling 343,000 gallons on Sunday and Monday, according to a City of Hickory press release.
On Sunday, about 185,000 gallons of wastewater was discharged into Snow Creek from 2061 Snow Creek Road, and about 78,000 gallons of wastewater was discharged into Falling Creek from 310 Cloninger Mill Road, the release said.
According to the release, about 80,000 gallons of wastewater was discharged into Clark Creek from 12th Street SE on Monday.
On Saturday, nearly 8,000 gallons of wastewater spilled at 1442 West N.C. 10 and 1019 West 1st Street in Newton, according to a City of Newton press release.
Catawba County and Hickory parks
All City of Hickory parks have been reopened with the exception of Henry Fork River Regional Recreation Park, according to a press release from the city.
Some park amenities, however, remain closed until further notice, the release said.
The lower parking lot of Glenn C. Hilton, Jr. Memorial Park is closed until mud and debris can be removed. The boardwalk at the park is also closed.
The Winkler Park hiking trail is closed for bridge repair.
Bakers Mountain Park and St. Stephens Park reopened on Tuesday and are following their usual operating schedules, according to the release. Riverbend Park is still closed until further notice.
Park visitors are asked to use caution around playgrounds as crews are in the process of replacing washed out ground cover in those areas, according to the release.
All City of Newton parks were open as of Tuesday, according to Alex Frick, public information officer for the City of Newton.
Newton’s state of emergency ended Monday at noon, Frick said.
The greenway path will remain closed between N.C. 10 and Radio Station Road, Frick said.
Many of Newton’s parks were closed due to storm damage on Monday.
All City of Conover parks were open as of Tuesday, according to Jimmy Clark, public work director for Conover.
Clark said he advises people to be cautious when visiting the parks as some storm damage is still present.