The Latest: Part of state park closes after wall collapse

The Latest on storms in the western Carolinas (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

Part of a North Carolina state park has been closed after severe weather caused a retaining wall to collapse.

Officials for Chimney Rock State Park said on their webpage Tuesday that the wall at the top of a parking lot in the Chimney Rock section fell during Monday's heavy rainfall. The statement said some debris from the collapse was washed onto a road below.

The park said Chimney Rock will remain closed until further notice.

The park statement said crews are working to clear the roadway. The state Department of Transportation and state contractors are assessing the situation to determine what needs to be done to fix the damage.


12:30 p.m.

A North Carolina city and county have declared a state of emergency because of damage from severe storms.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency Tuesday after getting widespread damage from Monday's storms. The declaration enables Catawba County Emergency Services to begin coordinated response and recovery efforts in unincorporated areas of the county, in collaboration with emergency response partners.

In addition, the City of Hickory also declared a state of emergency because of what was described as scattered damage in the city.

A statement from the city said current conditions are still dangerous, with fallen power lines, fallen trees and debris in the roadways. Officials are asking residents to avoid the affected areas if possible.


8:20 a.m.

The National Weather Service is sending two crews to check on possible tornadoes in the western Carolinas.

The weather service in Greer, South Carolina, said Tuesday one team would check for possible tornadoes in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties in South Carolina and Cleveland County, North Carolina.

A second team planned to focus on the rest of western North Carolina.

A line of storms with as many as nine tornadoes raced across the Carolinas on Monday afternoon and evening.

A spokeswoman for North Carolina State Parks said Chimney Rock State Park is closed while crews deal with damage, including a landslide.

Stone Mountain State Park in Roaring Gap, North Carolina, is also closed as crews deal with downed trees.

Duke Energy said about 78,000 customers remain without service Tuesday morning.


7 a.m.

Crews from the National Weather Service plan to cover western North Carolina and South Carolina, looking to confirm possible tornadoes as a line of storms moved across the area.

As many as nine tornadoes were reported Monday afternoon and evening. The most serious problems seemed to be in Spartanburg County, South Carolina and in Hickory, North Carolina.

Duke Energy reported about 78,000 customers without service Tuesday morning. About 66,000 customers were without service in North Carolina and about 12,000 more customers had no service in northwestern South Carolina.

The National Weather Service reported daily rainfall records Asheville and Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as the Greenville-Spartanburg area in South Carolina. Totals ranged from about 2 inches (5 centimeters) in Charlotte to more than 3.5 inches (9 centimeters) in Asheville.

No deaths have been reported.


5:10 a.m.

The Carolinas have some cleaning up to do after severe thunderstorms with flooding and possible tornadoes flipped tractor-trailers and small planes, broke storefront windows and pushed one house off its foundation.

At least 98,000 homes and businesses lost power, forcing some schools to close Tuesday.

The National Weather Service reported many trees and power lines were brought down across western North Carolina. Small planes were flipped over and their hangars crumpled at the Hickory Regional Airport. Drivers navigated flooded streets in Asheville and Boone, and possible tornados left trails of damage.

Duke Energy said that by early Tuesday morning, crews were still working to restore electricity to more than 87,000 customers.

In South Carolina, an apparent tornado crunched buildings, flipped tractor trailers, downed trees and wrecked homes in the Spartanburg area.