Flood warning extended, water rescues reported in Edgecombe County
With roads still closed due to flooding and water rescues underway near Rocky Mount, the National Weather Service has extended a flood warning for the viewing area, including the Triangle, until 3:45 p.m.Posted — Updated
With roads still closed due to flooding and water rescues underway near Rocky Mount, the National Weather Service has extended a flood warning for the viewing area, including the Triangle, until 3:45 p.m.
Water rescues were reported in Pinetops in Edgecombe County on Friday near Bynum Farm Road. WRAL News was working to learn more details.
On Thursday, multiple deaths were reported across the state, and as much as 10 inches of rain fell in some spots.
In Alexander County, WCNC reports that three people have been found dead and two remain missing.
On Thursday, flooding prompted school systems to cancel in-person classes or send students home early, and Halifax, Harnett, Johnston and Wilson County Schools will attend classes virtually on Friday due to the weather.
The Tar River is in moderate flood stage and could crest in the next six hours. The Cape Fear River is in minor flood stage and is forecast to reach moderate flood stage Saturday and crest through the day Saturday as well.
What to know:
- Most of the viewing area, including the Triangle, is under a flash flood warning until 3:45 p.m. on Friday. View all alerts
- Halifax, Harnett, Johnston and Wilson County Schools will attend classes virtually on Friday due to the weather.
- In an emergency press conference at 2 p.m., North Carolina officials urged people do stay off the roads until Friday. They encouraged people to remain cautious around rivers over the weekend, as several major rivers are expected to crest over the next 48 hours.
The Cape Fear River at Lillington is expected to rise above flood stage late this evening to a crest of 18.1 feet tomorrow morning.
A road in Cabarrus County buckled and washed away during the flooding on Thursday. Similarly, a segment of I-95 buckled in one place between Wilson and Rocky Mount.
Officials also warn dark water could hide power lines underneath, or unknown depths. If at all possible, they encourage people to stay home tonight and avoid the roads – and to not allow children to play near floodwaters.
In Mecklenburg County 63 roads are closed due to flooding, and there have been at least 100 calls for help from people in flood conditions.
In Louisburg, it's at minor and will crest tomorrow.
The Neuse River is at major in Goldsboro, Clayton and Smithfield and forecast to crest anytime tomorrow through Saturday depending on the location.
Some viewers said their rain gauge showed upwards of 12 inches.
Rocky Mount experienced more than 9 inches of rain over the last 48 hours, according to WRAL meteorologist Kat Campbell. That was among the highest measurements in the region.
Some exits along I-95 near Rocky Mount remain closed by the flooding, North Carolina Department of Transportation spokesman Jamie Kritzer told WRAL's Boyle.
North Carolina Department of Transportation earlier closed all lanes of I-95 in both directions near Wilson near Exit 121 (I-795/US-264). That closure is expected to last into Friday morning.
WRAL's Bryan Mims reported that more than two dozen people needed to be evacuated from an apartment complex in Selma, where flood waters rose above the bumpers of cars in the parking lot.
In Harnett County, public school officials announced that all classes will be moved online on Friday.
In Garner, police reported that Lake Benson is overflowing onto Buffaloe Road near Highway 50.
As Maze spoke, the National Weather Service canceled its Flash Flood Watch for Wake County.
WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze showed flash flood warnings in the eastern North Carolina. Maze said the consistent rain is moving east and will likely leave the central part of the state in time for the evening commute.
However, the roads are expected to still be slick and dangerous for the remainder of the night.
WRAL meteorologist Kat Campbell predicted major rivers such as the Neuse and Tar rivers are likely to crest over the next couple days. The Cape Fear is expected to crest on Saturday.
WRAL's Mark Boyle reports that a car is trapped in flood waters near Cary's Crossroads shopping mall. Chris Knox, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Safety, spoke with WRAL's Boyle by phone to discuss road conditions in eastern North Carolina.
"Just because the rain stops does not mean the danger isn't still real," Knox said.
WRAL's Bryan Mims, reporting from Selma, showed flood waters rising in the parking lot of a local apartment complex.
Rivers will continue to rise and possibly flood even after the rain stops, Maze said.
WRAL's Kat Campbell reported that, over the past 48 hours, there have been more than 9 inches of rain at the airport near Rocky Mount and Wilson.
Rolesville police say they're searching for a child reported missing near a creek. The child was last seen near 5700 block of Lord Granville Way.
WRAL's Bryan Mims reports that Selma is home to the most 9-1-1 calls in Johnston County. Selma Police Chief Billy Thomas called WRAL's Mark Boyle to ask residents to stay off the roads.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation reported that I-95 is closed in both directions near Wilson, around Exit 121. The department expects the highway to reopen by 5:00 a.m.
In Raleigh, fewer roads are flooded, but streets are still wet and dangerous. A crash on I-40 West has slowed traffic at Exit 287 for Aviation Parkway. Heavy delays were reported in the area.
Three cars were involved in a crash on I-40 West near U.S. 1 in Cary. No one appeared to be injured.
The Storm Prediction Center canceled a severe risk for most of the viewing area, so gusty winds, tornadoes and hail are no longer a major concern.
More than 5,000 customers are without power in North Carolina, according to Duke Energy. Rather than being clustered in one area, outages are scattered throughout the state.
Wake County deputies are also responding to some reports of power outages and fallen trees. Trees are down at Bells Lake Road and Johnson Pond Road near Fuquay-Varina, and a stoplight is out at N.C. Highway 42 and Rock Service Station Road. Standing water was also reported at at 730 Ferrell Road in Knightdale.
The bulk of the rain should be out of the area completely overnight, with just a stray shower possible early Friday. A total of 1-3 more inches of rain could fall over the next 3-4 hours, Maloch said.
Meteorologists are closely watching the Neuse River, which could be at moderate flood stage in Goldsboro by Friday. The Neuse could be at moderate flood stage in Smithfield and Clayton by Thursday night.
A homeowner who lives at the bottom of a hill in the community told WRAL Amanda Lamb water entered her home but it is starting to recede. She said this happens often in heavy rain events and she has gotten used to it.
New crashes have been reported on major Raleigh routes, including on I-40 East at Rock Quarry Road and on I-440 E near Hillsborough Street and Wade Avenue. Flash flooding was also reported on Lake Boone Trail near I-440.
While school days have not changed in the Triangle, Wake County Public Schools announced food distribution to students learning remotely has been canceled Thursday due to inclement weather.
According to WCNC Charlotte, Duke Energy estimated nearly 2,500 people were without power in Catawba County due to the storms. The station reports 143 people were evacuated from Corvian Community Elementary School in Charlotte because of floodwaters.
In Charlotte, I-85 looked more like a river at one point Thursday morning. A record was broken near uptown Charlotte, where Little Sugar Creek recorded a record crest of 15.2 feet, the highest it's been since 1997.
Storms and heavy rain will continue to move eastward, and Gardner said "the situation will only get worse" Thursday. Anywhere from 1-2 inches of rain could fall per hour.
Conditions continue to be worst east of Raleigh, where U.S. Highway 301 in Rocky Mount and Old Route 22 in Kenly are flooded.
In the Triangle, weather-related crashes slowed traffic on U.S. Interstate 1 near Ten Ten Road in Apex and on Interstate 440 near Glenwood Avenue Thursday morning. East of the Triangle, cars were getting stuck in floodwaters, and major routes like U.S. Highway 301 were blocked in spots.
Gardner said the rain will be heaviest Thursday morning, throughout lunchtime and for most of the afternoon, with conditions improving by 5 p.m.
There was a small lull in the rain Thursday morning, but Gardner said another large band of rain is expected to be problematic through the late morning and early afternoon.
There's also a risk for severe weather Thursday afternoon, when gusty winds and isolated tornadoes are possible.
Crashes are likely to be numerous throughout the Triangle for the Thursday commute as drivers navigate wet roads.
Pay attention to flooded streets and closed roads and do not try to drive around barricades.
"Do not drive your car into floodwaters," Gardner said. "Avoid them at all costs."
Cooler, drier weather ahead
Cooler temperatures and drier conditions are ahead for Friday and the weekend.
There could be a few showers left over Friday morning, but the day will be dry overall. Fall weather will return Saturday and Sunday, which will be sunny and much cooler, with highs in the mid to upper 60s.