BAT CAVE, N.C. — A mudslide has NC-9 closed at this time. Around 3 a.m. Tuesday in Bat Cave, about a mile north of the junction of 74-A and Highway 9, land slid free from the hill between 600 and 800 feet above the road between Minnehaha Drive and Old Fort Loop.
Geologists with the Department of Transportation (DOT) where on scene checking road stability. NC-9 is, obviously, closed.
It will be at least a couple of months before the road is completely cleared. There are thousands of tons of trees and debris on the road.
The highway is now closed at Shumont Road at the Henderson/Buncombe county line — on the north side and at U.S. 74A on the south side. Nearly 100 feet of the highway is covered in mud, dirt, trees and other debris. Officials estimate the debris is about 20 feet high and 30 feet wide.
The residents who live on the other side of what is now a wall of debris on the road will have to detour by going into Buncombe County and back to Black Mountain to get out of the area.
A 50-mile detour — safe for trucks and large vehicles — takes northbound drivers up U.S. 74 to Interstate 40 to Exit 64 and N.C. 9 south. Southbound drivers need to take N.C. 9 north to I-40, then Exit 53A to U.S. 74A and back up N.C. 9.
Motorists are urged to drive with caution, slow down in work zones, and allow extra time.