NCDOT clears 100K trees in Polk

Published 11:45 pm Thursday, March 14, 2019

Almost 200K trees cleared in western North Carolina from December storm 

POLK COUNTY—The North Carolina Department of Transportation recently finished clearing more than 100,000 trees following storms in December. 

The NCDOT cleared almost 200,000 trees in a few western North Carolina counties, including the more than 100,000 in Polk, and another almost 90,000 trees in Transylvania.  

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The clean up took months, with the work being finished earlier this month, according to NCDOT’s David Uchiyama.  

There were eight crews in Polk County, where it took about 10 weeks to clear all the trees.  

Most of the trees came down in during the December snowstorm, with Uchiyama saying other trees were taken down that were either interfering with or threatening to interfere with the right of way.  

The piles of debris were taken to Rosman and will be mulched.  

Last year saw near record rainfall and the trend has not stopped this year. During 2018, Polk County received 26 inches more rain than normal, with a total of 88.14 inches recorded in Tryon, according to the National Weather Service. December was the second highest month in 2018 behind May, and snowstorm Diego hit with ice and snow. Saluda received more than 20 inches of snow during Diego, with downed trees causing 10,000 power outages for several days. It was the worst storm since the Blizzard of 1993, which occurred on March 13, 1993.