9,500 Polk residents were without power

Published 11:03 pm Tuesday, November 3, 2020

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25 homes significantly damaged from Thursday’s storm

POLK COUNTY—Polk County had 2 wind storms back to back with the peak last Thursday meaning 9,500 people were without power. 

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Monday and heard from emergency management director Bobby Arledge about the storm from Tropical Storm Zeta last Thursday. 

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The area was hit with another high windstorm Sunday night into Monday with more damage, including trees and power lines down. 

Arledge said as of 5 p.m. Monday, there were 333 people in the county still without power. 

Many residents lost power Thursday and did not get power back until Sunday, then the next wind storm took out power again. 

There were at least 25 homes in the county that suffered significant damage, Arledge told commissioners. He said he has more homes to assess and is getting a state assessor to come in to help. Arledge said the county is looking into declaring a state disaster from the storm. 

There were 3 families who were displaced because of Thursday’s storm. Arledge said the American Red Cross has placed them in hotels. 

“With COVID, we can’t afford to take the chance to open a shelter,” Arledge told commissioners. “Red Cross can assist up to 30 people with hotel rooms.” 

There were no major injuries because of the storms and the county did suspend tree removal for a couple of hours during Thursday’s storm because of the dangerous winds.

County officials responded to 259 emergency calls in a 24-hour period during Thursday’s storm, according to Arledge. 

Arledge said from his assessment, the Silver Creek area looks to be the hardest hit area from Thursday’s storm. He thanked fire departments, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, power companies, the sheriff’s office and police departments for responding as well as citizens who all helped to get many trees out of roadways. 

The county had several roads closed Thursday and Polk County Schools were closed Thursday and Friday because of the wind, trees in roads and power outages. The schools were on a 2-hour delay on Monday because of more winds, trees down and power outages. 

Arledge said residents should let his office know if they suffered damage from the storms so he can assess the damage. The emergency management/fire marshal’s office can be reached at 828-894-6342.