Red Cross operating 4 shelters in WNC, one on standby

Press release from the American Red Cross:

(POLK COUNTY, N.C. – May 30, 2018) – The American Red Cross is currently supporting 4 shelters and has 1 shelter on standby. Flooding has occurred in several areas and continuing rain remains a serious threat due to saturated and unstable grounds, with the threat of mudslides and easily dislodged debris from last weekend’s mudslides and flooding. There are still several flash flood watches in effect. Residents should follow their local weather reports and heed the advice of emergency management officials.




  • First Baptist Church of Old Fort, 203 E. Main St., Old Fort remains open.
  • The YMCA Corpening in Marion shelter has been placed on standby. Residents who had been evacuated were allowed to return home and asked to stay aware of changing conditions. The shelter may reopen as needed.
  • The shelter at Glenwood Baptist Church on Glenwood Baptist Church Road in Old Fort has been closed.


  • Swannanoa First Baptist Church, 503 E. Park St., Swannanoa remains open.


  • Bill Creek Baptist Church, 1475 Bills Creek Rd., Lake Lure remains open.


  • Polk County Middle School at 321 Wolverine Tr., Mill Spring, remains open.

Shelter availability and status may be checked by using the Red Cross Emergency App. It may be downloaded in your mobile phone app store or you may text “GETEMERGENCY” to 90999.


Know the difference between a flood/flash flood watch and a flood/flash flood warning. A flood/flash flood watch means a flood/flash flood is possible in your area. A flood/flash flood warning means flooding/flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground. Follow any evacuation orders.

  • Listen to local radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates. People should keep informed about weather conditions and listen to the advice of local officials.
  • Check emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply. Keep it nearby.
  • Turn around, don’t drown. If driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.
  • Keep children and pets out of the water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.


  • After a flood, do not attempt to return to affected areas until officials say it is safe to do so.
  • Once you are able to go home, look for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, cracks in the foundation or other damage before you enter your home.
  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
  • Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
  • If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
  • Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
  • Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out.

For more tips on what to do before, during, and after flash floods or mudslides, visit or download the free Red Cross Emergency App. This all-inclusive app lets you monitor more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts, to help keep you and your loved ones safe.


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