Local News

Flooding, High Winds Cause Local Damage Across Central, Eastern N.C.

Posted October 14, 2002

— Floods soaked North Carolina's inland eastern counties, where high winds -- possibly tornadoes - destroyed or damaged a number of homes in Johnston and Edgecombe counties Friday.

Edgecombe County authorities believe a tornado may have touched down near Conetoe area at 1:30 p.m., damaging at least nine homes in that area. Authorities said a funnel cloud was headed toward the Mildred area just above tree height and turned towards Martin County where it later dispersed.

In, Johnston County officials believe a tornado touched down off of Bunn Road near Kenly, causing significant damage just after 2 p.m. Emergency management officials said four homes were destroyed and at least 12 were damaged.

Bobby Hunt said the roof of his home was taken off due to the heavy winds.

"I looked out the window and I saw broken tree limbs hitting the house. The house started to shake, so I got down on the floor," he said. "I saw the roof lift off of the house and it picked the house up and moved it into the front yard."

There were also reports of downed trees and powerlines. No injuries were reported.

Officials with the National Weather Service said it will not be known until Saturday whether tornadoes actually hit the affected areas.

Friday night football games across the region were postponed. Many have been rescheduled for Monday.

Throughout the day, low-lying streets in Durham and Raleigh were flooded in torrential downpours that pushed creeks over their banks.

By Friday evening, Crabtree Creek in Raleigh was out of its banks in several places. Several other Wake County creeks were still quite high, including Swift Creek, Middle Creek and Walnut Creek.

Some residents at the Litchford mobile home park in Raleigh had to be rescued by boat from the high floodwaters.

"They sent two boats. I got in one of them and then they made me get into another one. Then, they put the dogs in the one with my mom," resident Michael Lakin said.

Some north Raleigh condominiums, including the Walenda Condominiums located off Millbrook Road near Atlantic Avenue, were flooded out Friday, leaving residents to clean up the damage.

At Crabtree Valley Mall, tow trucks moved cars parked on the lower-level to higher ground.

In Cary, no streets were officially closed; however significant flooding was reported occurred throughout the day on parts of Davis Drive, Chapel Hill Road, Cary Parkway, and the Maynard loop.

In Durham County, creeks were at bankfull or out of their banks, especially in the east and south sections of the county.

Flooding caused a number of road closings in Durham throughout the day. Friday morning, Durham County officials reported several roads with 2 to 3 feet of standing water.

Fayetteville Street in Durham was under about a foot of water, which quickly receded as the rainfall ended.

The Kmart parking lot at I-85 and Roxboro Road in Durham was flooded after a nearby creek that runs under Roxboro Road overflowed its banks. Flooding was also reported at the south end of Forest Hills Park, Forestwood Drive, University Drive, and Wilshire Drive.

Some secondary roads in Person County were inundated by rains that began Thursday night and picked up in intensity early Friday morning.

Flooded roads were reported in the Bethel Hill community of northern Person County, including Mill Creek Road. To the south in Roxboro, flooding was reported on Patterson Drive and Old Durham Road.

In Oxford, major flooding was reported on Sam Holt Road, Highway 15 and downtown on College Street.

The rain in central North Carolina was caused not by Kyle, but by a front that stretched from Roxboro to Wadesboro and spawned rain on both sides, said Joel Kline of the National Weather Service.

Forecasters said Kyle should enter southeastern North Carolina by late Saturday afternoon, with a slight risk of severe thunderstorms over eastern North Carolina and isolated tornadoes.

Forecasters issued a flood warning for the Neuse River at Clayton and Smithfield in Johnston County. Water was expected to rise overnight and crest at about one foot over flood stage by morning.

Rainfall should total three to five inches along the coast and one to four inches inland. A cold front advancing from the west on Sunday should clear wet weather out by late evening. It Is also expected to drop temperatures as well.

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