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Woman dead as mudslides hit NC mountains during heavy rains

TRYON, N.C. (WSPA/WNCN) - Emergency Management officials say a woman is dead after being trapped at her home as rain deluged the North Carolina mountains causing numerous mudslides Friday night and Saturday.

The deadly incident happened at a home along Highway 176 in Tryon after at least six inches of rain fell Friday into Saturday morning.

The area has seen rain off and on for most of the past week before heavy rain hit Friday evening.

Part of I-26 was flooded with about three feet of water and was closed Friday evening, but reopened early Saturday morning, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. 

In the deadly mudslide, Bobby Alredge with Polk County Emergency Management says the woman was trapped between her house and a garage.

According to Tryon Fire Chief Geoffrey Tennant, a mudslide washed away parts of the road along Highway 176, including the driveway of a home in the 3000 block of Highway 176 where crews brought in equipment in efforts to rescue the woman.

Crews have blocked off the area where the mudslides happened on Highway 176 and officials say that area will be blocked off for a few hours.

Mud and trees have closed off some other roads in the area, such as Howard Gap Road and Warrior Road.

Mudslides have also been reported in Saluda and along the Green River in Polk County.

A Flash Flood Warning is still in effect through Saturday evening for several counties in the North Carolina Mountains.

Highways 25, 221 and 176 are all shut down at this time. Traffic will be diverted to Highway 14, transportation officials said.

Columbus Fire Chief Tony Priester said earlier that the area of Interstate 26 near mile marker 53 and 54 was flooded with approximately three feet of water.

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