A short portion of N.C. 9 in the northeast corner of Henderson County is closed due to a significant landslide.
Early estimates figure that the slide broke free from the hill between 600 and 800 feet above the road between Minnehaha Drive and Old Fort Loop around 4:00 am.
The highway is closed at Shumont Road — the Henderson/Buncombe county line — on the north side and at U.S. 74A on the south side. Nearly 100 feet of the highway is covered in mud, dirt, trees and other debris.
Transportation officials are evaluating the damage to determine a course of action to remove debris, repair any road damage, and re-open the highway.
A 50-mile detour — safe for trucks and large vehicles — takes northbound drivers up U.S. 74 to Interstate 40 to Exit 64 and N.C. 9 south. Southbound drivers need to take N.C. 9 north to I-40, then Exit 53A to U.S. 74A and back up N.C. 9.
Motorists are urged to drive with caution, slow down in work zones and plan extra time into their trips for delays.