State News

Flooding closes roads, schools in western N.C.

Posted September 20, 2009 12:16 p.m. EDT
Updated September 21, 2009 8:27 p.m. EDT

— Flooding in more than 20 counties in western North Carolina has closed roads, delayed schools and forced evacuations, and forecasters say more rain is on the way.

National Weather Service meteorologists say that flood watches in effect since Sunday would not expire until 8 p.m. Monday.

The French Broad River on the Transylvania and Henderson county line was expected to crest Tuesday morning and remain above flood stage until Wednesday evening. Many counties reported more than 3 inches of rain over the past 24 hours.

Polk County Emergency Services evacuated homes along a 7-mile stretch of road Sunday as water rose to the windows on some houses. Officials in Henderson and Transylvania counties reported water rescues Sunday for motorists stranded on flooded roads.

"You've probably been hearing a lot about the rain that's been going on to our south and west over the past couple days," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said. "It continues to rain across waterlogged parts of north Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee. Even the west part of our state has had its part of the rain over the weekend," he added.

On Sunday, 3.27 inches of rain fell on Asheville, shattering a 96-year-old record. Since last Monday, 4.41 inches have fallen there.

In Polk County, firefighters watched rising water levels and went door-to-door asking residents in low-lying areas to move to higher ground.

Henderson County authorities said that one car was stranded in rising waters. At least a half dozen trees were fell in Buncombe County, and about 100 people in one part of the county lost electricity.