Pounding rain causes flooding, power outages and water rescues across Triangle

Posted August 12, 2014 5:31 p.m. EDT
Updated August 13, 2014 1:03 p.m. EDT

— Flooding, power outages, downed trees and water rescues were reported across the Triangle Tuesday night as severe thunderstorms pounded the region with more than three inches of rain.

"If you're in Raleigh, don't even go outside for the next hour and a half," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said at about 8 p.m. "The lightning is too dangerous."

Multiple businesses on the 1600, 1700 and 1800 blocks of Capital Boulevard, including the Milner Inn, Capital Inn and The Foxy Lady Cigar Bar and Nightclub, were evacuated due to flooding.

About 15 people were evacuated from the Capital Inn and 25 were rescued from the Milner Inn, officials said. Six people inside the Foxy Lady were also evacuated.

Firefighters used boats to reach those trapped. 

"Real fast, real fast," is how Salvador De Jesus, who was staying at the Capital Inn, described the falling rain. "The cars are being flooded and then up top I tried to push everyone away from the rails because I know what lightning can do."

The severe weather resulted in multiple events across the Triangle:

  • Water rescues were reported in Raleigh, Cary, Wilson's Mills and Selma due to submerged vehicles, including one at Atlantic Avenue and Old Louisburg Road in Raleigh.
  • Flooding was reported throughout Durham, Raleigh and Cary, including multiple apartments on the 5200 block of Dana Drive in Raleigh and at the intersection of High House Road and Cary Parkway in Cary. Flood waters also caused multiple road closures in Clayton.
  • East Market Street at North Ninth Street in Smithfield was closed due to flooding.
  • Durham, Orange and Person counties were under a flood advisory until 9 p.m.
  • Wake County was under a flash flood warning until 4:45 a.m. Wednesday.
  • Johnston County was under a flash flood warning until 12:05 a.m.
  • About 1,600 Duke Progress Energy customers in Wake County and 1,274 in Durham County were without power as of 10 p.m.
  • Seven storm-related structure fires were reported in Cary, including one at 205 Durington Place.
  • Rising water was reported at the Mobile Estates Mobile Home Park on York Street in Cary.
  • Trees were reported down in Raleigh on Pine Timber Drive and along Country Trail Road.
  • Raleigh police directed traffic at Capital Boulevard and Durant Road due to traffic lights being out.
  • A pipe that runs under Optimist Farm Road, between Lake Wheeler Road and Johnson Pond Road south of Raleigh, washed out. A detour has been set up for several days so crews can make repairs.
  • All flights out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport were delayed due to the storm. Most arriving flights were also delayed.

No injuries were reported.

The storms are expected to clear up overnight, Maze said.

“It should feel a lot better on Wednesday,” he said.

Temperatures will stay in the mid to upper 80s under cloudy skies for the rest of the week before increasing to the low 90s next Monday and Tuesday.