Polk County officials continue to recommend voluntary evacuation; more rain is expected

Photo: WLOS

With another 2-6 inches of rain over the next 24 hours predicted by the National Weather Service, Polk County emergency management officials renew their recommendation for voluntary evacuations in areas previously identified to be of concern.

The areas identified for voluntary evacuations are:

  • Page Farm Road
  • Brookwood Subdivision
  • Highway 176 from North Wall Road to 3910 Hwy 176
  • Warrior Drive from Baker Drive to Meadowlark Drive
  • Meadowlark Drive and Intersecting Roads
  • Walcot Farm Lane
  • Miller Mountain Road
  • Rixhaven Subdivision
  • Green River Cove Road
  • Holbert Cove Road

There could be limited access from public safety responders to already identified voluntary evacuation areas. Voluntary evacuations are recommended until the end of the rain event. Polk County officials said more than 600 homes are in the affected area.

The American Red Cross shelter at Polk County Middle School, 321 Wolverine Train in Mill Spring, will remain open until further notice.

Anyone who needs assistance evacuating the area can contact Polk County at 828-894-0188.

But some people opted to stay at local hotels or with friends.

“I told them I was going over here to the Days Inn where it’s high and dry,” James Weith said. “It wasn’t doing me any good to stay there. I was listening to what people said. I’ve been in dangerous things before.”

Several other evacuated families were also staying at that hotel.

Tryon resident Robert Lange said he had multiple friends staying with him when they had to leave their homes quickly.

“I gave her a code to my kitchen door, so they stayed for about a week until she was able to get home because their road was partially washed out,” Lange said.

Residents will be able to return home after officials conduct an evaluation of the area when it is safe to do.

Shelter open in Mill Spring

The Red Cross encourages anyone coming to a shelter to bring the following items for each member of their family:

  • Prescriptions and emergency medications
  • Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
  • Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents
  • Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
  • Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
  • Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
  • Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you
  • Books, games and other ways to entertain your family and yourself

Staying safe when landslides threaten

Polk County officials and the Red Cross urge residents to take appropriate precautions, remain aware of changing weather conditions, and follow all instructions from emergency management and law enforcement.

What to do if a landslide is likely to occur:

  • If you suspect imminent danger, evacuate immediately. Inform affected neighbors if you can.
  • Listen for unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together.
  • If you are near a stream or channel, be alert for any sudden increase or decrease in water flow and notice whether the water changes from clear to muddy. Such changes may mean there is debris flow activity upstream so be prepared to move quickly.
  • Be especially alert when driving— watch for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks and other indications of possible debris flow.
  • If you are ordered or decide to evacuate, take your animals with you.
  • Consider a precautionary evacuation of large or numerous animals as soon as you are aware of impending danger.

For more tips on what to do before, during, and after mudslides and flash floods, visit RedCross.org or download the free Red Cross Emergency App. This all-inclusive app lets you monitor more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts, to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

To hear the latest updates on weather and road closures, please call 828-894-6342. For more information and updates, visit Polk County Sheriff’s Office or Emergency Management Facebook pages or subscribe to receive NIXLE alerts from the Tryon Fire Department by texting your zip code to 888777.

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