Crews were still working Monday to clear mud and debris after a mud slide that claimed a woman's life and closed a major highway in Polk County.
US 176 remained closed Monday between Tryon and Saluda due to the mud slide and flooding. Dump trucks were continuing to move mud and plant debris out of the area.
Bobby Arledge with Polk County Emergency Management said one woman was killed when the mud slide swept through a home Friday night. She was identified as 59-year-old Patricia Thompson Case of Tryon.
A 12-man search and rescue team found Case on Saturday after digging through debris for about nearly four hours at the house where she was last seen.
Arledge said the woman was found between the garage and car port of the home. He said the house had caved in on the side and she was located through the shaft.
They believe Case was washed away from her husband during the mudslide.
Arledge said crews will continue searching around the area to ensure everyone is safe. He said 30 people stayed at a local restaurant for shelter Friday night, but were able to make it home Saturday morning.
A portion of I-26 was also closed due to mud slides and flooding over the weekend, but has since reopened.
Emergency Management asked drivers to continue to avoid the area of US 176 in the Pacolet Valley as well as Holbert Cove Road Monday as mud and flood damage continued to plague those areas.
Arledge said that crews had hauled away more than 1,500 tons of mud but some areas were still covered. He said mud must be removed from roads before crews can determine the structural integrity of the roads.
"The road is completely undermined in some areas," Arledge said.
He also warned that the mud could slide again, especially with the threat of more rain the forecast.
Arledge said 27 homes were damaged and that number could grow as the cleanup continues. No new injuries have been reported.
The NCDOT estimated that roads in Polk County sustained more than $5 million in damage as of Monday morning.
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