Heavy rain pounds Outer Banks, southern NC coast
Posted October 4, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Raleigh and most of the Triangle saw spotty, light showers Sunday evening while the greater chance for rain and rainfall totals remained to the south. Sunday marked the 11th straight day of measurable rainfall in Raleigh, one short of the record.
A tie – 12 days on Monday – looks likely, but after that the weather pattern clears to a more typical fall outlook. The extended forecast calls for temperatures in the 70s and at least some sun Tuesday through next Saturday.
Before the sun returns, the Triangle will endure at least one more gray day, with the risk of flash floods from the accumulated rainfall and wind-related issues such as downed trees. The National Weather Service on Sunday morning extended a wind advisory for most counties of the Tar Heel state until Monday at 8 a.m.
"Typically, a wind advisory means that winds may gust in excess of 40 mph. However, in this case, the NWS warned, "lesser wind speeds could uproot trees with the ground being saturated and wet foliage from the rain."
In Roxboro, resident Tony Wilkins said a 200-year-old oak was toppled by the wind. A large tree blocked the sidewalk and brought down power lines in north Raleigh on Vanburg Court.
Central North Carolina was spared most of the more serious effects of the drenching rain, but the deluge returned to the Outer Banks Sunday.
Along the coast, N.C. Highway 12 was closed south of the Hatteras Inlet Ferry Dock, near Ocracoke, due to flooding. Emergency officials expected the road to reopen Monday morning.
In Buxton, WRAL's Ken Smith reported "near whiteout conditions" Sunday afternoon.
Smith was reporting from the Outer Banks. "The farther south, the more rain, winds and clouds we see," he said.
Pounding waves were destroying what used to be a sand dune protecting the Outer Banks Motel from the ocean. The owner set out giant sand bags, but she told WRAL News that she worries that part of her property could eventually crumble into the ocean. A beach re-nourishment program is planned for the spring of next year.
On its Facebook page, the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office listed almost 30 roads that were impassable. New Hanover County listed on its website about 25 closed roads.
"We had to shut down U.S. Highway 17...and that is a big deal. The water running down the road is very unsafe at this time," said Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram.
Brunswick County government tweeted that people should stay home Sunday as the dark and additional rain will make conditions worse.
Due to extreme rainfall and the continued opportunity for widespread flooding, New Hanover County offices and courts will be closed Monday.
Showers swamp South Carolina
Flooding swamped South Carolina from the coast inland to Columbia. Downtown Charleston was closed to incoming traffic Saturday as rain flooded roads and left some motorists stranded as flood waters engulfed their cars. Residents broke out their row boats and paddleboards to get around the city. Record rainfall floods SC
"Normally, with the storms, we have a little water in the streets," said Eric Thacker, a Charleston tow truck driver. "What we have now, this is a disaster. If you're coming downtown, you need an inflatable boat in the back of your car."
On Sunday morning, the South Carolina Emergency Management asked that people simply stay put. "Safely remain where you are due to the severe weather and flash flooding," read a bulletin transmitted by the National Weather Service on the state's behalf.
Police said they were seeing flooding in areas that don't normally flood.
The Greenville-Spartanburg Airport recorded 2.3 inches of rain Saturday – more than three times the previous record set in 1961.