Get Breaking News

Enter your email address to sign up.

Receive special offers from

Roy Bailey, Jr. surveys debris from his brother's home. Photo by Caroline Harris

Originally published: 2013-07-17 13:22:41
Last modified: 2013-07-17 15:46:48

Mudslide removes section of Highway 194

Caroline Harris / (

Torrential rain and saturated soil equated to a significant mudslide on a three-lane portion of Highway 194 at Bailey Hollow, between Newland and Elk Park near Blevins Creek Road.

Bailey Hollow resident Robbie Bailey was asleep with his family when he was awakened by a big “blue spark,” followed by a noise that sounded like a “vehicle was falling down the hill.” Bailey instinctively screamed “Run!” to his wife, who went for the door, but the mudslide had already begun to spin the trailer around. Bailey, his wife, and their children were forced to evacuate through the roof of the trailer after it came apart in the mudslide. Now, all that’s left of their home is one collapsed wall, with everything else under mud, including vehicles and possibly horses. After the family escaped, the house fell about 200 yards down the hill.

Robbie’s brother, Charles, was also sleeping with his family in his nearby trailer when the mudslide hit, but also escaped unharmed with his wife and children in tow. His mobile home was splintered into pieces and thrown a reported 1,000 feet across the hill, strewn over a space of about an acre. One of his cars is completely buried, one upside down in mud, another is lodged in a tree. One blue corner of a headlight of their father Roy Bailey’s Volkswagen Bug is visible. Charles said of the one accessible vehicle, “We left the radio blaring. It’s upside down, might as well run the battery down.”

To read the complete story, please pick up a copy of your hometown newspaper, The Avery Journal-Times, available at almost 100 locations in Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Spruce Pine and Roan Mountain, Tenn. To subscribe to The Avery Journal-Times, please call (828) 733-0401 or click to 

Additional Images