The effects of hurricane Irma will begin to affect parts of Western North Carolina later today (Monday). Outer bands of the storm could produce heavy rain and possible high winds in excess of 40 to 60 miles per hour. Those threats have promoted for several warnings from the national weather service in Greenville/Spartanburg.
Jackson and Macon County is currently under a high wind warning with gusts up to 50 miles per hour. Half of Jackson county is under a flash flood watch until 8am Tuesday morning. Rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches are possible by the time rain tapers off early Tuesday morning. Stay tuned to WRGC for the latest information on conditions in the area.
With the potential for severe weather, multiple school districts across the region have closed their doors for Monday. Jackson county schools are closed for Monday, September 11th with an optional teacher workday.
Jackson County Emergency Management urged residence in a Code Red phone alert Sunday evening to be prepared for power outages and flash flooding. Citizens are encouraged to have 3 days of water and non-perishable food along with 3 days of medications for all family members in a household. The phone number to call for non-emergency questions in Jackson County is 828-631-4357 that’s 828-631-HELP. County officials reminds the public to only use 911 in a true emergency situation.
Tim Little with NCDOT said Friday they’re keeping a close watch on the Western Part of North Carolina so they’ll be able to assist the areas hardest hit. Little urged all motorists to be extra cautious on the roads after Irma leaves the state notably when DOT workers are out cleaning debris. Little notes state officials are already on the ground monitoring prone areas in the mountains amid growing concerns of possible rockslides and mudslides.