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Trees down, power out for 4,000 as Fred drenches county

Henderson County first responders and utility crews stayed busy Tuesday responding to trees down on power lines as Tropical Storm Fred drenched the area in torrential downpours.

"We've had easily 20 to 30 calls for trees down and power lines down," Henderson County Emergency Services Director Jimmy Brissie said at 6 o'clock Tuesday evening. "Right now, the flooding impact is relatively limited." There had been no calls to rescue stranded motorists, he said, and a couple of landslides in the eastern part of the county were minor.

On Wednesday morning Duke Energy reported 4,020 power outages in Henderson County, 7,060 in Buncombe, 394 in Transylvania and 107 in Polk. Henderson County remained under a flash flood warning.

County emergency personnel had seen no need yet to activate the emergency operations center.

"We’re just kind of monitoring things," Brissie said. "We're still here but the EOC isn’t officially open."

Henderson County first responders made mutual aid trips to Transylvania and Haywood counties, which had more serious issues, including stranded motorists and the evacuation of the Davidson River Campground in Pisgah National Forest.

"There are some from Etowah and the Rescue Squad assisting them right now," he said. The worst should be behind us as the night moves on. "The weather service in the last report was that the heavy precipitation will taper off late tonight  around midnight and should be declining overnight into the morning hours. Folks should just remain very aware of the surrounding as we get into the night, watch for rising water and flooded areas and turn around and don’t drown."