Dozens of boats washed away after flooding along Mountain Island Lake

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Flooding along Mountain Island Lake caused a dock and about a dozen boats to become loose and get stuck under the Highway 16 bridge right at the Mecklenburg and Gaston County line.

Flooding along Mountain Island Lake caused a dock and about a dozen boats to become loose and get stuck under the Highway 16 bridge right at the Mecklenburg and Gaston County line.

Many of the boats were in a pile under the bridge. Neighbors and rescue teams worked together to save what boats they could.

Gaston County Emergency Management said it was a race against the clock. If the boats floated under the Highway 16 bridge, they would most likely wash over the spillway and sustain severe damage.

“It’s people coming together to help people, that’s all we have is each other,” said the PIO from Gaston County Emergency Management, Bill Melton.

Some people jumped into the water, including Don Shaffer, after discovering his boat was missing Monday morning.

“I walked down to the boat dock to check my boat and there was a lady walking back and I said how are the boats? And she said they are gone,” said Shaffer.

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His boat wasn’t totally gone, just sitting in a new position under the bridge. In all one boat was destroyed and others had minor damage.

Neighbors were just thankful that the community came together.

“They have been really helpful. One of our neighbors are actually on the boat right now. People are doing a good job helping,” said boat owner, Andy Podozore.

Emergency Management says flooding along Mountain Island Lake was the worst since about 1940. Crews were forced to open the flood gates along the dam after heavy rain in Catawba County over the weekend, which caused Mountain Island lake to rise rapidly.