National

Feb 8, 2010 12:11 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

NC mudslide evacuees urged to stay away for weeks

Residents are being urged to stay away from their North Carolina mountainside homes after a 30-foot-high mudslide washed over their road.

Emergency workers evacuated about 40 people from a dozen homes near Maggie Valley in western North Carolina after the Friday mudslide.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Monday that authorities took the evacuees back to their homes on all-terrain vehicles just long enough to gather belongings.

But residents were told they may need to stay away for weeks or longer as rain threatens to further wash out a slope that officials say is unstable and dangerous.

Investigators say recent heavy rain and snow were factors in the mudslide. A 2003 landslide in the area killed a woman whose home was crushed.

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