Storm report: More than 7 inches of rain fell in 4 hours in northeast Wake County

Floodwaters rose as rain fell Saturday, leading to two families being rescued from their Zebulon homes. Crews found a fish in a flooded Wake Forest road.

Posted Updated

Kasey Cunningham
, WRAL reporter, & Deborah Strange, WRAL digital journalist
WAKE COUNTY, N.C. — More than 7 inches of rain fell in northeast Wake County on Saturday, and more rain is headed for central North Carolina on Sunday, according to WRAL meteorologist Peta Sheerwood.

The most rain fell around Rolesville and Wake Forest, but flooded roads were reported across the viewing area.

According to one storm report, 7.3 inches of rain fell over a span of four hours in Rolesville on Saturday.

On Sunday, rain south of the Triangle is more likely to move into Raleigh and Durham late afternoon or in the evening, according to Sheerwood.

Showers and storms, some heavy at times, will bring a steady accumulation of rainfall over North Carolina in the coming days.

"The better chance for rain today will move in around dinner time for the Triangle," Sheerwood said. "I will not be surprised if some of these storms squeeze out 1 to 2 inches of rain with isolated higher amounts."

Roads in Franklin County were also washed out.

The Burton family was driving on Highway 401 in Youngsville on Saturday afternoon, minutes before it washed out.

"We went to McDonald's in Rolesville. Turned around came back, And this is what it was. I thought for sure someone washed out. It was scary," said Thomas Burton.

The problem now is getting around, he said.

"When I started going around every different direction and all the roads were closed. I started getting nervous," he said.

Heavy rain prompted water rescues, fatalities on Saturday

At least two families had to be rescued from their Zebulon homes on Saturday on Little River Circle and on Zebulon Road, the Hopkins Fire Department said. The families included at least three children.

The State Highway Patrol said three people died Saturday evening when a vehicle ran off the road and overturned in a creek on North Carolina Highway 27 west on Lincolnton.

The creek waters were higher than normal because of the rain, authorities said.

Multiple roads across central North Carolina were underwater or broken.

Bridges Pond overflowed onto Mitchell Mill Road in Wake Forest, causing the road to collapse. On Lassiter Road, pavement was completely washed away.

Firefighters from the Wake New Hope Volunteer Fire Department blocked the area off and put up barricades to prevent cars from speeding down a hill.

Mitchel Dixon’s driveway washed out in the rain.

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“The road was actually flexing,” Dixon said. “The asphalt was flexing, and I knew it wouldn’t be long before it would take it out…I’ve been here 30 years and never seen it this bad before,” he said.

In Wake Forest, floodwaters trapped a car on Ligon Mill Road. The driver was able to escape.

Ligon Mill flooding

Residents said they were hoping a break in the rain would allow the water to recede.

“Thankfully the sun’s out,” Jessica Pendola said Saturday afternoon. “We’re praying it stays that way with enough of a break that the rain coming later will stay away from our house.”

Crews found a fish in the Wake Forest floodwaters. It wasn't clear where the fish came from, but the Wake Forest Police Department said it was alive and was placed in a local stream.

The Chronicle at Duke University posted photos of the Bryan Center, which was flooded and closed on Saturday.

Local government and law enforcement agencies were using social media to share photos of flooded roads and warnings about detours and the dangers of high water.


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