Relentless May rain triggers mudslides, flooding, other dangers


Relentless May rain, compounded now by the remnants of subtropical storm Alberto, has triggered a host of dangers and has been blamed for three deaths in Western North Carolina. Areas around WNC have received about a foot of rain or more just this month. Here’s a quick look:

-A woman died in Polk County when a mudslide ripped through her neighborhood on May 19.

-On Sunday in that same Polk County area, a WYFF television news anchor and his cameraman were killed when a tree fell on their vehicle just minutes after they had finished an interview with emergency officials about dangers in the area.

-Polk County officials are continuing to urge people to voluntarily evacuate areas that have been soaked by the rains. Residents needing assistance evacuating the area should contact Polk County at 828-894-0188.

-The remnants of the Alberto storm will move just west of our Western North Carolina area, but there are flash flood warnings in place, and emergency officials are urging people to be careful and stay tuned to what’s happening in their area.

-Chimney Rock State Park is closed after part of a parking lot retaining wall eroded over the weekend.

-The U.S. Forest Service has closed all trails for recreational use in Bent Creek through at least Friday because of the heavy rain, Dusty Allison of Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine reports.

-The operators of tubing companies in Asheville remained closed over the Memorial Day Weekend as rivers ran swift and high.

-Emergency officials are urging people to stay off rivers and away from waterfalls.