Since Friday afternoon, the City of Hickory has experienced prolonged periods of heavy rainfall, resulting in flooding and flash flooding in some areas. In response, Hickory Mayor Hank Guess declared an official state of emergency within the City of Hickory, effective 9 a.m., on Sunday, June 9.
Flooding in the City has resulted in significant infrastructure damage to streets, bridges, and other public infrastructure, as well as citizens being displaced from their homes.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has closed a number of roads throughout Catawba County. In addition, City of Hickory Public Services crews have temporarily blocked off some roads due to standing or running water. For a listing of road closures, please check: http://catawbacountync.gov/news/catawba-county-road-closures-due-to-flooding/.
The Hickory Police and Fire Departments are asking citizens to stay off the roads, if at all possible. If travel is necessary, please do not attempt to drive through floodwaters, or bypass any established barricades.
Hickory Fire Department has performed 12 water rescues since Friday. With more rain in the forecast, Catawba County Emergency Management has requested for additional swift water rescue resources to be deployed to the City of Hickory. Mooresville Fire and Rescue has deployed seven swift water rescue technicians, a battalion chief, and three boats to Hickory. Burke County Search and Rescue has deployed three swift water rescue technicians and one boat.
The City of Hickory has experienced multiple waterline breaks due to the storm, and some consumers in the City of Hickory service area may be experiencing isolated water and sewer service interruptions. City crews are working to restore service as quickly as safely possible. Service may not be restored in some affected areas until water levels recede enough to allow crews to safely access infrastructure damage and make necessary repairs.
At this time, there are no water advisories posted for City of Hickory water consumers. Some users may experience water discoloration due to a significant increase in demand from broken mains and water flowing faster in those mains to the affected areas. The Public Utilities Department does not anticipate any issues with the drinking water and has not issued any notices for concern.
In response to localized flooding at Ridgecrest Apartments on 12th Avenue SE in Hickory, Catawba County has relocated affected residents to a temporary shelter set up at the Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) Tarlton Complex, located at 2550 U.S. 70 SE, Hickory. Hickory Police Department has assigned an officer to be on-site at the shelter.
The City of Hickory plans to keep citizens informed via media releases, website updates, and social media platforms. Be sure to follow the City of Hickory on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofhickory and on Twitter at @CityofHickory. To receive important storm information and local emergency notifications, please sign up for CodeRED emergency notification alerts under the “How Do I” navigation tab at www.HickoryNC.gov.