US Geological Survey: Upstate, WNC prone to landslides - FOX Carolina 21

US Geological Survey: Upstate, WNC prone to landslides

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Rick Wooten, senior geologist, discusses landslide probability in WNC (FOX Carolina) Rick Wooten, senior geologist, discusses landslide probability in WNC (FOX Carolina)
Hurricane Ivan caused this landslide in Macon Co. in 2004 (FOX Carolina) Hurricane Ivan caused this landslide in Macon Co. in 2004 (FOX Carolina)
SWANNANOA, NC (FOX Carolina) -

The U.S. Geological Survey says western North Carolina is particularly prone to landslides, and there is a risk for them in Upstate SC and northeast Georgia.

A senior geologist with the North Carolina Geological Survey told FOX Carolina lots of recent precipitation increases the risk.

"Heavy rain falls on those areas, they are marginally stable, that's what pushes the stability over the ads and triggers a landslide," said Rick Wooten, who has worked for the NC Geological Survey for 24 years.

In recent days, tragic pictures out of Washington state in the aftermath of a deadly mudslide there have reminded many of disasters in recent local history, including the Macon Co. mudslide of 2004 and the landslide in Henderson Co. in 2010. The 2004 event was triggered by high winds and rain from Hurricane Ivan.

Wooten, however, said a landslide with the size and devastation of the one in Washington is possible, but not probable for the western North Carolina region.

He said with the recent heavy precipitation and earthquake in the region, however, it is important to know there is insurance for people who choose to live on mountainsides and other areas prone to landslides.

Many flood insurance policies have landslide coverage options, he said.

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