Heavy rains lead to road closures, flash flood warning Tuesday

Published 12:06 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2023

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Bridge partially collapses on Howard Gap Rd. in Tryon

POLK COUNTY– Thunderstorms and heavy rains caused flash flooding in the area on Tuesday, with more rain and storms expected during the remainder of the week.

Early on Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Warning in Polk County and portions of all neighboring counties.

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“Gauges on the North Pacolet River and the North Saluda River are showing rapid rises,” the NWS said in its warning. “The 911 call center reported thunderstorms producing heavy rain across the area, with flash flooding occurring along Skyuka Creek and surrounding areas.”

Floodwaters encroached on Harmon Field on Tuesday morning. (Photo by Blake Allison)

Over 5 inches of rain was reported in Saluda, with at least 2 to 4 inches reported throughout the warned area as of Tuesday morning.

The first bridge on Howard Gap Rd. in Tryon partially collapsed Tuesday due to flash flooding, prompting the closure of the road, and Old Howard Gap Road was also closed due to trees down and partial mudslides. Waters rose near Harmon Field as well, as the North Pacolet swelled due to the storms.

Landrum Rd. was temporarily closed just north of I-26, as floodwaters rushed across the road Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday, Lynn Rd. between Capps Rd. and Rippy Rd. was also temporarily closed due to Skyuka Creek breaking its banks, and parts of Silver Creek Rd. and Garrett Rd. were closed near Lake Adger in Mill Spring.

The weather forecast for the week is calling for heavy rains and thunderstorms on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, which could again lead to rivers flooding. The public is asked to use extra caution when driving, and should not attempt to drive through rushing waters encountered on roads and streets in the area.

“Turn around, and don’t drown when encountering flooded roads,” the NWS said. “Most flood deaths occur in vehicles. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize the dangers of flooding.”


Floodwaters encroached on Harmon Field on Tuesday morning. (Photo by Blake Allison)