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20-mile stretch of Blue Ridge Parkway closed in NC

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - A 20-mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed in western North Carolina because of a crack in the pavement.

Park officials say there is a 2- to 4-inch wide crack running about 100 feet along the road. Parts of the crack are 6 feet deep.

Officials have closed the road between milepost 375 north of Asheville to milepost 355 near Mount Mitchell State Park because officials are worried about possible road failure. Officials say they noticed the crack Friday.

The parkway's chief ranger, Steve Stinnett says an engineer will examine the crack to determine how serious it is.

Stinnett said the ground below the crack is completely saturated and is starting to collapse. The area has been pounded by heavy rains for several weeks.

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