SWAIN COUNTY, N.C. — Heavy rain in Swain County Saturday night caused mudslides that had cars and sheriff's deputies trapped, WLOS reported.
Traffic on US-19/74 in the Nantahala Gorge got stuck between the mudslides and crews spent all night working to clear the debris.
Authorities confirmed that all the people trapped had been freed as of Sunday morning.
Officials said the debris has spilled into the road at four locations between Hewitts Road on the western side and the Nantahala Outdoor Center on the eastern side.
"There was no place they could escape, no way of escape. And they didn't know, we didn't know if there might be more slides in that between the two. So yeah, it really had us concerned about our officers' safety," said sheriff Curtis Cochran.
US-19 is still closed Sunday and traffic is being detoured around the area.
North Carolina Department of Transportation officials said cleanup will take at least three days.
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