Polk County officials are recommending a voluntary evacuation in specific areas by 5 p.m., Sunday, May 27 ahead of the tropical storm conditions that are forecast to affect the area Sunday night through early next week.
This area has been hit hard by recent storms and should a catastrophic event occur, for residents who do not evacuate, it could take days to reach and rescue anyone affected.
Polk County Sheriff and Emergency Management officials are requesting that residents 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 for 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.
An American Red Cross shelter will be available to evacuees beginning at 5 p.m., Sunday, May 27 at Polk County Middle School at 321 Wolverine Trail in 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. It’s also important not to forget special items for children, such as diapers, formula and toys, and other items for family members who have unique needs.
“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.”
Areas of heightened concern include:
• Highway 176 from North Wall Road to 3910 Hwy 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
• Page Farm Road
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.
For information on what you should do before, during, and after a tropical storm and to find an open shelter, download the free Red Cross Emergency App.
To hear the latest updates from Emergency Management, call 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.