Rain continues; flood watch extended

Posted June 4, 2009
Updated June 5, 2009

— Heavy rain showers became widespread across central North Carolina on Thursday, increasing the chance of flooding.

The rain will last into Friday. Some of those storms could be severe, causing flooding and spawning tornadoes, WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

Widespread flooding is not expected, but some areas could see localized flooding, Maze said.

“Just about everybody has a good chance of getting soaked (Friday),” WRAL chief meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

A lightning strike sparked a house at 105 Rose Lane in Chapel Hill around 3:40 p.m., fire dispatchers said. No one was injured, but officials said damage was estimated at $400,000. It took nearly an hour to get the fire under control.

"Low pressure rides up the front, keeping the rain going all night and all day tomorrow. It may be off and on tomorrow, but it'll be wet, so keep that umbrella handy," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

A flash flood watch is in effect for the Triangle and other counties through Friday afternoon. Some heavier showers and thunderstorms could drop rain at 2 inches an hour and cause localized flooding.

"The main problem has been people trying to drive their car across a flooded road," Gardner said. "Just turn around, and go the other way. It's just not worth it to even try."

Tips for driving in floods

The rain will linger through Saturday morning, tapering off by mid-day. By then, as much as an inch of rain could have fallen.

The highest probability of rain Saturday afternoon is between Fayetteville and Wilmington.

“The farther north you go the drier you will be,” Fishel said.

The rest of the weekend will be dry as the skies stay partly cloudy and temperatures rise once more into the low and mid 80s.


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  • Emerald Jun 4, 2009

    If my area is being threatened I want to know

  • Commentor5 Jun 4, 2009

    Yes, it is a real hoot to watch grown men and women play with toys. Looking forward to the "Breaking News" segments tonight!

  • DasStonecutter Jun 4, 2009

    Commentor, I don't know but I imagine it will be a lot of doppler shots with the "zoom" button in heavy use - combined with plenty of film from the traffic cameras and phone calls from people in Sanford and Smithfield. A couple of weeks ago we had the warnings, and I kid you not, they sent a cameraman out to the back door of the WRAL studio and tried to report on what he was filming in the parking lot while standing in the doorway. It was hilarious! The coverage inevitably turns into this:

    "Is that circulation? I think it is! Can we pan the traffic camera more to the left?... Oh, we can't? Well that dark area to the left of your screen is the storm. Now to check back in on the Doppler Ten Billion...let me just zoom in here..."

    I know they are providing a valuable service, and I'm not trying to make light of those whose lives are devastated by tornadoes, I just laugh every time the local news flips out about a thunderstorm or snowstorm - it's overkill.

  • TeresaBee Jun 4, 2009

    It is just raining here in Raleigh at the moment. I just had to use the restroom and wondered, how many people are there that were doing their business in the bathroom when a tornado struck! Yikes! Hold on to that toliet paper!

  • Commentor5 Jun 4, 2009

    Hey DasStonecutter - what kind of new gadgets and gizmos do you think we'll see tonight? Better question, as Jack Nicholson said as the joker, "where does he get all of those wonderful toys?"

    Hook me up bro!

  • klcmomof2 Jun 4, 2009

    DasStonecutter - you crack me up! I lived in Tornado Alley in Missouri/Kansas and they didn't push it to the level they do here...

  • DasStonecutter Jun 4, 2009

    "Yep..godforbid, WRAL interrupt your Wheel of Fortuane to warn someone that a Tornado is headed their way. The things people complain about are absolutley unreal these days."

    I would agree with you if the coverage was even close to helpful to anyone. Tell ya what, I'll save you a lot of painful improvised weather dialogue from Mike Maze and Greg Fischel. If a tornado is coming (you will be alerted via the National Weather Service during Wheel of Fortune) go to the ground floor of your house, stay away from windows, and try to seek cover in a bathroom or closet. There. I just saved WRAL about three hours of uninterrupted severe thunderstorm coverage.

  • Commentor5 Jun 4, 2009

    DasStonecutter "Hope no one was planning on watching any television shows on WRAL this evening. Now the Doppler Ten-Billion and the Tornado Action Desk will be front and center."

    Oh you better believe that television is canceled tonight!!! LOL

  • grayboomerang Jun 4, 2009

    Yep..godforbid, WRAL interrupt your Wheel of Fortuane to warn someone that a Tornado is headed their way. The things people complain about are absolutley unreal these days.

  • Commentor5 Jun 4, 2009

    WHAT??????? A tornado watch? Now we didn't hear that this morning during the 6AM giggle news did we? I can't even go outside this afternoon and play in the street...