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Officials open flood gate at Lake Lure

As Irma passed through Western North Carolina on Monday, it dumped a couple inches of rain in Rutherford County. The storm was enough to focus town officials' attention on rising water levels. They opened a flood gate Tuesday. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

As Irma passed through Western North Carolina on Monday, it dumped a couple inches of rain in Rutherford County.

The storm was enough to focus town officials' attention on rising water levels. They opened a flood gate Tuesday.

It's something they began preparing for days ago.

"When we saw the potential for heavy rains were coming in, we ended up dropping that lake level about 2 to 3 feet in preparation for the rain amounts," Lake Lure town manager Ron Nalley said.

Once officials knew how much rain fell, they decided to open one of three flood gates.

"The incoming river had risen, and, to compensate for the water coming, we had to open the flood gates to allow for the release," contractor John Wilson said.

The middle gate open was opened about 6 feet to level out Lake Lure.

"You have to monitor the water coming in and adjust the gates accordingly," Wilson said.

The additional water then pushes back into the Broad River.

Over at Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery, staff came into work to find their bottom deck flooded as the Broad River raged.

"I haven't seen it this high in a very long time," Sally Tanner, the brewery's marketing manager, said. "I know we have gotten some floods here before, but it's been a while since I think we have gotten this much rain."

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