Graham County Land Company (GCLC) has been awarded a $1.49 million contract to clear the mudslide on Highway 9 between US 74A and the Buncombe-Henderson county line. Record rainfall a week prior caused mud and trees to shear from 600-800 feet up the mountain and slump across the road. An estimated 110,000 cubic yards of material, 20 feet deep and running 100 linear feet down the road, will have to be hauled offsite. The slide was first reported at 4AM on June 5. Authorities did not think anybody was trapped, but any search and rescue was deemed unsafe, as trees and mud continued to move into the next day. The North Carolina Department of Transportation set up a 50-mile detour safe for trucks, and developed a plan for cleanup. They decided the safest strategy would be to construct a dirt road to drive heavy machinery up to the top of the slide, as clearing from the bottom would destabilize the slope and endanger workers. GCLC is now in the process of removing an estimated 10,000 dump truckloads of debris. Once the mud is removed, GCLC will restore drainage, replace the guardrail, and repair the road. Work began June 12 and is projected to conclude July 27. In accordance with state law the contract was awarded to the lowest qualified bidder.