Polk asking two additional neighborhoods to evacuate ahead of Sunday’s storm

Published 4:15 pm Sunday, May 27, 2018

Update: Polk County officials are now recommending that residents of Page Farm Road and Brookwood subdivision evacuate their homes by 5 p.m. today, ahead of this evening’s forecasted rain. The American Red Cross’ emergency shelter will be open for evacuees at 5 p.m. at Polk County Middle School, 321 Wolverine Trail, Mill Spring.

Polk officials are recommending a voluntary evacuation of portions of county, in advance of the National Weather Service’s forecast of tropical storm conditions hitting the region on Sunday, according to officials with the American Red Cross.

Leaders with the Polk County’s Sheriff Office and Emergency Management are recommending residents living in portions that have already been significantly impacted by the flood and mudslides that devastated parts of the area last week to evacuate by 5 p.m. Sunday. These areas include:

  • U.S. Highway 176, from North Wall Road to 3910 U.S. 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

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“Slow moving storms today and tomorrow can produce heavy rainfall with little or no warning. A tropical system is expected to arrive as early as Sunday bringing heavy rain and wind through mid-week,” said Bobby Arledge, Polk County emergency management director. “The county has been surveyed by professional geologists and these storms will further destabilize areas that have experienced above average rainfall and potentially cause further landslides. A heightened level of concern exists for residents in and around areas that have already experienced land movement.”

County officials are requesting residents in those areas call 828-333-9017 to notify them of their decision to voluntarily evacuate or stay in their residence. This is to aid officials in accounting the safety of local residents and arrange for law enforcement to check on evacuees’ property. Residents will be asked to provide their name, physical address, and contact number.

Should another catastrophic event occur in the coming days, for residents who do not evacuate, it could take days for crews to reach and rescue anyone affected.

An American Red Cross shelter will be available to evacuees beginning at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Polk County Middle School, 321 Wolverine Trail, Mill Spring.

The Red Cross encourages anyone coming to a shelter to bring the following items for each member of their family: prescription and emergency medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, important documents and other comfort items. Officials also ask evacuees to not forget special items for children, such as diapers, formula and toys, and other items for family members who have unique needs.

Residents needing assistance evacuating the area should contact Polk County at 828-894-0188.

Residents are cautioned about returning home before officials conduct an evaluation of the area after the tropical storm and associated wind and rain have passed.

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

NWS’ Greenville-Spartanburg office is forecasting tropical moisture to move into the area beginning Sunday, which may result in heavy rainfall, similar to what Polk County experienced last Friday, which resulted in flooding and at least nine mudslides in parts of the region. The calamity, which devastated the Pacolet Valley and other areas, resulted in the death of a Tryon woman and damage to 40 homes.

The NWS is forecasting additional rainfall Monday through Wednesday, with the possibility of flooding.

People may hear the latest updates from emergency management by calling 828-894-6342. Information and updates are also available on the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management Facebook pages, and residents are advised to subscribe to NIXLE alerts from the Tryon Fire Department by texting their zip code to 888777.