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Officials recommend voluntary evacuation for some Polk residents ahead of expected rain

Posted May 27, 2018 11:47 a.m. EDT

— Even after a Flash Flood Warning for McDowell County ends at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, scattered showers and a few thunderstorms still linger over WNC through the evening.

Any area that had heavy rain Saturday could flood if any additional rain falls in those locations tonight. Be prepared to move to higher ground if a FLASH FLOOD WARNING is issued where you live.

Polk County officials have recommended a voluntary evacuation in specific areas by 5 p.m. Sunday, May 27, ahead of the subtropical storm conditions that are forecast to affect the area Sunday night through early next week.Polk County officials recommending a voluntary evacuation in specific areas by 5 p.m. Sunday, May 27, ahead of the subtropical 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 Emergency Management and Sheriff's Department officials said in a news release.

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

Residents are asked to call 828-333-9017 and let officials know whether they plan to leave or stay. This is to aid officials in accounting for local residents and arrange for law enforcement to check on evacuees' property.

Residents will be asked to provide their names, physical addresses and contact numbers.

On Saturday afternoon we stopped by one of the roads on that recommended evacuation list: Green River Cove Road in Saluda.

It still looks like a war zone after the mudslides hit last week.

Emergency management requests that residents call ahead of time to notify the county if they plan to leave or not.

An American Red Cross shelter will be available to evacuees beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday, 27 May 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. 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 midweek," said Polk County Emergency Management director Bobby Arledge. "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."

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