Heavy rain forces some Polk residents to evacuate

Published 6:11 pm Monday, September 21, 2009

Halford said around 3:45 a.m. Sunday she was notified Polk was under a flash flood warning and she came into work to help begin evacuating a seven-mile section along the Green River from Fish Top in Saluda to Silver Creek Road in Mill Spring.

Local fire departments conducted evacuations in the area. Some residents chose to stay and others went elsewhere beginning early Sunday morning.

Two shelters were set up; one at the Polk County Chapter of the American Red Cross in Columbus and another at the Saluda Fire Department, but no one utilized those shelters, according to Halford. Saluda Fire and Rescue reported that they began monitoring the rising Green River around 2 a.m. and began evacuating residents near the river around 7 a.m. Sunday.

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Sections of roads in the area were under water Sunday as more than seven inches of rain fell in just a few days. The Tryon Water Plant reported 7.2 inches of rain since last Tuesday, but other areas of the county reported higher rainfall. In Tryon, 4.37 inches of rain fell on Friday, Saturday and Sunday alone.

Emergency crews also closed a bridge on Hunting Country Road Sunday near FENCE because an existing hole filled up with water and made the road impassable for a short time. The bridge was later reopened.

Many fallen trees were reported on area roads, along with limbs and other debris from the storms.

Other areas saw heavy rains and high waters over the weekend, including Lake Lanier, where water reached the top of most docks.

Forecasts are for a few more inches to fall between yesterday and the middle of this week.