This spring the southern highlands of Appalachia have lived up to the temperate rain forest designation given to them by scientists and the like. The extra moisture our mountains have received over the last several months has made for an unbelievable bloom season.
Everywhere I go I hear stories like: “We’ve lived in our house for 7 years and the apple trees in the yard have never bloomed-but this year we have so many apples who knows what we’ll do with them all.” It’s much the same around the Blind Pig house-some of my bushes are so laden with blooms they have fallen under the weight. And everywhere you look-its a jungle of green which after cutting seems to grow to knee high overnight.
Another thing I’ve heard being talked about a lot is cloud bursts. I’ve heard the term cloud burst since I was a kid. One frightening story I remember from my Lake Logan days: the caretaker of the grounds told me about a cloud burst that happened farther up the river when he was young-it washed houses away and even washed some people over the dam-specifically a lady who still had her gown(d) on.
One night last week me and the girls left home with barely a sprinkle falling headed to dance at the folk school. By the time we reached the folk school-only a couple of miles away-it was raining so hard you could barely see, the ditches where filled to overflowing, and there were mini-rivers everywhere. By the time we got out of the car and walked across the road to the Keith House the rain was gone-that’s a cloud burst-a heavy amount of rain in a very short amount of time.
TRAIN STALLED IN TUNNEL
“Over 100 Passengers Cooped Up All Night on the Murphy Branch – Numerous Washouts On Account of Cloudburst. Special to The Observer.
“Asheville, July 12. – A special this afternoon from Andrews, on the Murphy branch says: Heavy rain, practically a cloud-burst, last night caused numerous washouts, flooding the track over two feet for half a mile, near Topton. A number of trestle supports were carried away, paralyzing traffic. Train No. 19 stalled in a tunnel five miles east of Andrews. Over a hundred were on board all night. The trestle at the east entrance of the tunnel gave way on the passing of the rear coach, and ditching was narrowly avoided. The train was brought to a stop in the tunnel. Investigation ahead revealed another washed-out bridge 50 feet from the west end of the tunnel. The train is still unable to proceed either way. The coaches were packed with people, two in a seat, some standing all night. Many women and children attending the Topton barbecue were aboard. A majority of the passengers walked to Andrews over the flooded tracks for breakfast. The wires are crippled.”
– Charlotte Observer, July 13, 1905
Thankfully our extra rain hasn’t caused anything as serious as that!
Rainy in your area?
*Source: Travel WNC is a project of Hunter Library Digital Programs and Special Collections at Western Carolina University