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Biltmore Village and Biltmore Estate Show Remarkable Resilience in Wake of Flood


What a difference a day makes … after dreadful, torrential rains left floodwaters estimated at over six feet lapping at the front gate entrance to the Biltmore Estate and covering much of Biltmore Village on Wednesday afternoon (September 8, 2004), Thursday’s bright sunny skies and pleasant breezes ushered in workers who spent their day removing the mud and debris left behind as the waters receded. In top photo on right, the high water flood mark can be seen on the formal brick entrance to the Biltmore Estate. The high water mark reached slightly over six feet at the entrance of the Biltmore Estate.

The Biltmore Estate is open – floodwaters never threatened any structures on the massive property, that is, anything beyond the gift shop at Biltmore Village entrance, which received some damage. The house itself, located miles away from Biltmore Village and tucked safely out of harm’s way, was never in danger, nor was the Inn on Biltmore Estate, the Winery, or Deerpark Restaurant. The Estate remained opened throughout the flood as guests used a secondary entrance to the property. The Estate’s main Biltmore Village entrance opened again on Thursday afternoon (September 9). In the second photo on the right, a Biltmore Estate worker shows the high water flood mark on the inside of the entrance to the Biltmore Estate.

Biltmore Avenue through Biltmore Village, flooded and impassable on Wednesday afternoon, was open on Thursday morning, with traffic flowing through the charming and popular district, almost as if nothing had ever happened.

Street cleaners were hard at work clearing away mud from the floodwaters that swept through the area via the Swannanoa River, and business owners were clearing their parking lots, checking water and electrical service, and looking for damaged inventory as they anticipated reopening at the earliest possible date.

While business re-openings are spotty – and restaurants will have to wait until the Regional Water Authority makes the necessary repairs to the main water lines at the North Fork Reservoir before they can re-open – many Biltmore Village shops are preparing to open their doors once again.

Asheville’s Regional Water Authority estimated having water service fully restored by mid-afternoon on Friday (September 10). Water service to north, east, west, and central Asheville was disrupted on Wednesday afternoon as the result of main water lines at the North Fork Reservoir being washed out by floodwaters and trees falling on those lines.

Water service to south Asheville, south Buncombe County, and Henderson County has remained fully operational. The Mills River Plant, part of the Regional Water Authority, provides service to customers in these areas.

Feature story on 1916 flood Click Here. Flood water levels from both floods were nearly identical. However, there has been no loss of life reported from the 2004 flood.

Additional photos of Biltmore Village and the Swannanoa River taken on Thursday afternoon, September 9, can be found below.



Biltmore Village area showing roads clear of flood waters and now filled with traffic



Biltmore Village area showing roads clear of flood waters and now filled with traffic



Biltmore Village area showing roads clear of flood waters and now filled with traffic



Biltmore Village area showing roads clear of flood waters and now filled with traffic



Swannanoa River Bridge on Highway 25 in Biltmore showing Swannanoa River flowing under the bridge Thursday afternoon



Antique Furniture Mall moving water-logged antiques outside to dry.



Riverwood houses and duplexes damaged by the Swannanoa River in east Asheville



Riverwood houses and duplexes damaged by the Swannanoa River, and showing area to the left where three of the houses were preveiously located prior to the recent flood. The three missing houses have not been found downstream to date.

Photos of Biltmore Village and the French Broad River at the highest flood stage taken on Wednesday, September 8, can be found below.



Swannanoa River shown at peak flood stage in Biltmore Village crossing Biltmore Avenue



Swannanoa River seen flooding the center of the Bitlmore Avenue and Sweeten Creek Road intersection



French Broad River seen from the Smokey Park Bridge with significant flooding to the left of the river



French Broad River seen beneath the Smokey Park Bridge



French Broad River seen from the Smokey Park Bridge looking south



Looking south across Biltmore Avenue to Biltmore Village



Long John Silvers on Biltmore Avenue north of Biltmore Village



Wendy's on Biltmore Avenue north of Biltmore Village



Close up view of the where the Swannanoa River is located on Biltmore Avenue as viewed north of Biltmore Village



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