County closes shelter; residents urged to be careful

By Haywood County Public Information Office | Jan 18, 2013

Haywood County Emergency Management has closed the shelter it opened Thursday night as a precaution in anticipation of severe winter weather.

No one stayed in the shelter, which Emergency Management Director Greg Shuping credited to the preparedness of emergency responders, power companies and the NC Department of Transportation.

“We had several thousand people without power in the Clyde and Canton area, but the power companies responded quickly,” Shuping said. “DOT also stepped up to stay on top of road conditions. We kept the shelter open all night.”

Shuping thanked staff from the Haywood County Department of Social Services, who staffed the shelter.

Emergency Management, the Haywood County Erosion and Sediment Control Office, and other agencies will be assessing damage at various locations today. Shuping said he was aware of at least 16 landslides that occurred since rains began earlier this week. The only known structural damage was to a house on Skyline Drive in Waynesville. Heavy rains also caused considerable property damage, Shuping said.

“There has been a lot of damage to roads, infrastructure and vehicles,” Shuping said. “A lot of homes have had water damage, such as water in their basements.”

While the weather forecast is not calling for any more precipitation for several days, county officials are urging residents who live on slopes to remain aware of an increased possibility of landslides, due to thawing and refreezing conditions. Residents are still encouraged to consider their options and be prepared to leave.