The NCDOT said it may take weeks to clean up the debris and reopen Highway 9 in Henderson County after a land slide covered the highway Tuesday morning.

The landslide occurred between Old Fort Loop Road and Mini Haha Drive.

Officials said the landslide sent trees and earth tumbling across about 300 to 400 feet of roadway.

NCDOT officials had to stop their efforts to clear the debris Tuesday after they determined the ground was unstable.

Officials said they feared more loose rocks, leaning trees and large root balls could come tumbling down if workers continued their clearing efforts Tuesday.

A geotech unit was called in and will investigate how to clear the land safety and determine how best to stabilize the land and prevent further slides.

A contractor will be hired to carry out the cleanup.

The highway is blocked at Highway 74-A at the Buncombe/Henderson County line. No thru-traffic is allowed.

Morgan Hill Road is also closed at the intersection of Highway 9 and Lower Sand Branch Road.

Deputies said drivers should use alternate routes until the road reopens.

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