Just researched water data for the Oconoluftee river at the Birdtown, NC gage. On Jan 15, 2013, just before noon, the gage at Birdtown measured 9.5 feet, with a flow discharge of 11,000 cfs. The max for that gage was 3230 cfs in 2006. The average median flow was 536 cfs, and the mean was 626 cfs.
No wonder 441 through the park collapsed on Jan 16. That's a lot of water for the watershed. Kind of questions the integrity of other places along 441 that might be ready to slide or have been seriously weakened.