Orlando Salinas/WDBJ7 Web Staff
9:04 AM EST, February 1, 2013
Pulaski County officials have lifted the evacuation notice.
Also, the emergency shelter at Pulaski High School has been closed.
In the meantime, drivers are asked to use caution because a few roads still have high water.
Here is the news release:
Emergency Management officials have lifted the evacuation notice as flood waters have receded to a safe level. The emergency shelter at Pulaski County High School is being closed as no citizens used the shelter last night.
Motorists are urged to use caution on the roads as they may be slick due to snow and ice and a few roads still have high water areas.
The county is sending out damage assessment teams today to the wind storm affected neighborhoods and flooded communities to determine the scope and value of damages to homes and property. Citizens can self report damages by calling 994-2602.
5 p.m. update from Pulaski County Emergency Management: The flood waters from the New River have crested and are now beginning to recede. However, the evacuation notice stands as it is still dangerous to return to these areas which may be under water and impassable by vehicles. Many roads will also become dangerous this evening as temperatures drop causing slick, icy areas and debris from the flooded roads will remain. Citizens are asked to call 994-2602 between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm for non-emergency information and to report property damage. Callers can leave a message after hours and the call will be returned.
Up and down the New River, people who live along the river's edge are being told to evacuate.
A shelter has been set up at Pulaski High School.
The gym inside the high school has plenty of sleeping cots and they'll be serving hot food.
But the first concern is getting people away from the river.
It is huge, wide, and overflowing. The New River, swollen after so much snow and rain, has nowhere else to go but into people's homes, their land and into their lives.
In the Hiwassee area of Pulaski County is where we found Fire Chief Quack Boyd. He has gotten very little sleep over the past few weeks. Between snow, rain and now an angry river, Boyd is trying to get people to leave before it's too late.
There's only one way in and out of Hiwasee, and a good chunk of that road is under water. Charlotte Stanley was rescued by neighbors. Her home is now surrounded by the New River. She said the water was about eight feet high.
The only other road between Hiwassee and Alisonia, the small community next door, is an old railroad track, covered with coal ash.
The makeshift path crews are using to rescue people is now made worse. Sightseers are driving on it, tearing up an already rough road.
Neighbors in these parts are moving what they can to higher ground. We saw one horse surrounded by water; the owner says he has a plan.
"When it comes up 2 more feet, then I'll probably be gone,” David Williams of Alisonia said. “Just for the animals. If it weren't for the animals, we wouldn't even leave."
An emergency shelter has been opened at Pulaski High School.
Here is the news release:The American Red Cross, in coordination with Pulaski Emergency Management, has opened a shelter at Pulaski High School due to the threat of flooding. Anyone feeling unsafe is encouraged to come to the shelter for a safe place to stay.
Pulaski County officials have declared a state of emergency and ordered the evacuation of several areas.
Here is the complete announcement:
Due to the high flood waters Pulaski County has declared a state of local emergency. Based on the
current and anticipated flooding in low lying areas, the county is issuing a mandatory evacuation for the following communities: Parrott, Belspring, Hiwassee, Delton, and Allisonia. Those residents who are in danger of flooding by the New River should plan to evacuate immediately. A reverse 911 call has been issued to these communities to advise citizens and law enforcement and fire department personnel are also canvassing these neighborhoods.
Pulaski County is establishing a shelter at the Pulaski County High School and is in process of being staffed. It will open later today and details will be forthcoming.
Citizens can call 911 in case of emergency but are asked to 994-2602 for non-emergency information.
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