Published: 2014-09-08 11:23:00
Updated: 2014-09-08 18:08:56
Posted September 8, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Rain was causing problems around the Triangle on Monday as a flash flood watch was issued for much of central North Carolina.
In Raleigh, flooding blocked the entrance to a dialysis clinic on Durham Drive, preventing ambulances and family members from getting to patients. Some of the patients had to walk through the woods to get to waiting ambulances and other vehicles.
Authorities closed Durham Drive from Tryon Road to Mechanical Boulevard due to the flooding. The road will remain closed until the weather improves.
"They need to do something about this. They need to do something," said patient Betty Stancil.
Workers went back and forth in the pouring rain, in some cases carrying frail and elderly patients.
Sylvester Stancil was trying to pick up his wife and said this is not the first time she has been trapped.
"Every time it rains, it stands right there, and we can't get in to pick up our spouses," he said.
"This makes the third time this has happened," Betty Stancil added.
Ambulance driver Ben Nelson said dialysis patients often feel very weak, so having to walk in the rain around a flooded road is not easy on them.
"To add this burden is not the highlight of their day," he said.
A flash flood watch is in effect for Wake, Durham, Orange, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Nash, Person, Sampson, Vance, Warren, Wayne and Wilson counties.
"It's messy. It just makes you want to stay inside," said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner. "We're talking 2 to 4 inches of rain in some spots."
An area of low pressure sitting along a cold front in southeast North Carolina is responsible for the rain and much cooler temperatures.
The cool down began Sunday across central North Carolina, bringing showers to areas of the Sandhills. Erwin saw more than 2 inches of rain in the 24 hours that ended at 6 a.m. Monday, while Fayetteville saw 1 inch and Goldsboro 1.1 inch.
In the Triangle, Sunday was overcast, gusty and humid but dry. Only 0.15 inch of rain was recorded at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport from 6 a.m. Sunday through 6 a.m. Monday. That will change for later Monday, when rainfall will be more widespread, Gardner said.
"There's plenty of moisture streaming up from the south," Gardner said. "Chances (for rain) may go down a little bit late this afternoon and this evening, but we still have a pretty good chance of rain for the majority of the day."
The dreary conditions will keep temperatures well below normal and almost 20 degrees cooler than in recent days. The forecast high is only 72.
Monday will see little variance from overnight lows in the mid-60s to the daytime high in the mid-70s.
After the rain moves out, the heat returns, pushing temperatures into the mid- and even high 80s before the week is out.