Local News

Parts of Fuquay-Varina Flood After Downpour Douses Triangle

Posted June 3, 2007 11:17 a.m. EDT
Updated June 3, 2007 7:59 p.m. EDT

— The remnants of Topical Storm Barry brought much-needed rain to the Triangle Saturday night and Sunday.

Although the downpour was needed, some roads in Fuquay-Varina suffered as water flooded the area. West Spring Street was one area under water Sunday night.

Flood watches were up in coastal counties, where rain was expected to last through the day. Bands of heavy rain rumbled through the Triangle, and the National Weather Service said as much as 2 to 3 inches of rain were possible, and local flooding might occur.

One report listed 2.2 inches of rain in 20 minutes in Wake County northeast of Raleigh.

Police agencies were kept busy with a rash of accidents, though none reported serious injuries.

The weather service station at Raleigh-Durham International Airport reported just over three-quarters of an inch of rain had fallen. At Horace Williams Airport in Chapel Hill, the rain gauge showed 1.22 inches of rain had fallen by 8 a.m. Sunday. In Fayetteville, the airport weather station had collected 1.14 inches of rain.

The drought statewide hung on, however. Data from Asheville showed that area had its driest May since record-keeping began there in 1965, with just under an inch of rain falling in the entire 31 days. As the Barry system tracked along the coast after crossing Florida, Asheville drew less than a tenth of an inch of rain.

Forecasters expected the low-pressure system to keeping moving northeast and away from North Carolina, and cooler and dry air was forecast for the first part of the week. Later in the week, hot temperatures are on tap, according to WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.

Rainfall in the Triangle had been about 4 inches below normal before the Barry system arrived.

Barry had weakened into a tropical depression as it moved through Tampa Bay on Saturday, bringing nearly 7 inches of rain to parts of the drought-parched region.

Forecasters discontinued the tropical storm warnings and watches issued for stretches of the Gulf Coast. The depression's sustained winds had slowed to near 35 mph and it was moving north-northeast at about 23 mph.

The storm, which formed on the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season, made landfall in the Tampa Bay area in the morning and had moved across the state to Jacksonville by the evening, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Dry conditions in Florida have left Lake Okeechobee, the second-largest freshwater lake in the contiguous United States, at its lowest recorded level and allowed a brush fire on the Georgia-Florida border to burn for weeks.

"This is a blessing," said Bob Buning, an employee at MacRae's Bait Shop in Homosassa, where boaters had returned to the Homosassa River by Saturday afternoon. "We needed this rain really bad."