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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Public Information Statement from the National Weather Service Regarding Landslides and Debris Flows

Image: File Photo from Landslide in February 2016 [LINK]

The National Weather Service has released some helpful information regarding the potential for landslides or debris flows in the coming days and some steps you may take to mitigate their impact on you.

Additionally, you may refer to these links:

Weather Warnings for Macon County

Macon Fire Dispatch

MaconEMS Dispatch

Macon Media Public Safety on Twitter

NOAA Weather Radio (Asheville Station)

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Greenville-Spartanburg SC
1112 AM EDT Sun May 27 2018


Rain is expected to develop across the western Carolinas and northeast Georgia tonight as deep tropical moisture associated with a fetch of air off the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean arrives. This moisture will get further reinforced by the remnants of Alberto as it moves northward across the Deep South on Tuesday. Periods of heavy rain are likely, especially on Monday morning and then again during the middle of the week. The heavy rain may result in significant flooding along creeks and streams.

Recent rainfall over the past seven to ten days has raised the threat of slope failures and landslides should the heavy rain develop as expected. Rainfall totals around the region this week will likely reach or exceed 3 to 6 inches, with some locations along the eastern and southern slopes of the southern Appalachians seeing 6 to 8 inches. Locally heavier rainfall will be possible in locations that see repeated rounds of thunderstorms, where rainfall rates could reach 1 to 2 inches per hour in the heaviest downpours. Rainfall of five inches or more in similar storms has been associated with the increased risk of landslides and rockslides.

Landslides, including fast-moving debris flows consisting of water, mud, falling rocks, trees, and other large debris, are most likely within small valleys that drain steep slopes.
Landslides are powerful and potentially deadly, capable of washing out roads, bridges, and homes. People living in areas prone to landslides should be aware of the danger and be prepared to act.

Here are recommended actions to consider both ahead of the stormand when the heavy rain begins.

Before the Storm:

1. If you live on a mountainside or in a cove at the base of a mountain, especially near a stream, be ready to leave in advance of the storm or as quickly as possible should rising water, moving earth, or rocks threaten. Identify a sturdy shelter on higher ground such as a well-built home, church or school.

2. Stay alert. Monitor NOAA Weather Radio or local media for possible flash flood warnings.

During the Storm:

1. Avoid driving near steep slopes or crossing stream valleys, particularly at night. Never try to drive across a flooded road. Potential hazards to drivers include washed-out roads, bridges, and falling or flowing large debris. Turn Around, Don't Drown!

2. Immediately move away from steep slopes and small streams in steep valleys. Seek refuge on higher ground away from streams, preferably in a sturdy shelter.

3. Stay alert. Many landslide fatalities occur when people are sleeping. Be aware that short intense bursts of rainfall are most likely to cause landslides.

4. Keep tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or local media for the latest warnings and statements regarding this potentially dangerous weather event.

More information on safety and preparedness for potential landslides can be found at:

For general flood safety and preparation advice, please visit:

Additional weather information and updates on this potentially dangerous weather situation can be found at:


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Published at 11:28 am on May 27, 2018

**UPDATE** 4:06 pm. The Macon County Emergency Management has published a press release about this situation. It is posted below in full:

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Macon County Emergency Services
May 27, 2018
Warren Cabe, Director

Significant rainfall is expected to affect our area beginning early Monday and continuing through Wednesday. Areas that are already saturated that experience sudden and significant rainfall events may be prone to flash flooding. Roads in Macon County, particularly in the Highlands and Otto areas, have already been impacted by isolated slope failures, culvert failures, and fallen trees.

Monitor local media outlets for weather information. Do not drive through flooded roadways. If you live in flood prone areas be prepared for isolated flooding events.