Weather

Storms flooded highway, houses

Posted July 5, 2008 6:22 a.m. EDT
Updated July 6, 2008 9:33 a.m. EDT

— Homes and a highway were flooded, electric service failed and more than 3 inches of rain fell in spots Saturday as rain and storms hit the Triangle for the second straight night.

All lanes of Interstate 40 were closed due to flooding near mile marker 278 in Durham early Sunday. Traffic was detoured from exit 279 to the Durham Freeway and exit 276 to Fayetteville Road, along N.C. Highway 54.

The closures began around 1:45 a.m., and some lanes were reopened within 45 minutes. The whole interstate was clear by 5 a.m.

State troopers said that although the high water posed a driving hazard, there were no accidents. Poor drainage caused the flooding.

Between 1 and 2 inches of rain flooded six buildings in Chapel Hill and one in Carborro, dispatch officials said. A creek caused heavier flooding in an apartment complex on Booker Creek Road.

About 1.5 inches fell in about 40 minutes on Orange County, and the intensity of the rainfall caused flooding, WRAL Meteorologist Chris Thompson said.

Edgecombe and Halifax counties also reported street flooding.

Downed trees were reported in Durham, Chatham and Edgecombe counties. A downed tree on U.S. 15/501 near Lystra Road in Chapel Hill took about an hour to remove from the scene, authorities said.

Rocky Mount and Kenansville posted impressive 24-hour rainfall totals: 3.13 and 3.43 inches, respectively. Chapel Hill, with 2.5 inches, and Roanoke Rapids, with 2.52 inches, weren't far behind.

Raleigh collected 0.89 inches; Burlington and Siler City, nearly 1.9 inches; and Clinton 1.4 inches.

Fayetteville received only 0.07 inches of rain.Revealing the variable coverage of the storms, nearly 1.3 inches of rain fell on Oxford, but a county over, Roxboro got 0.16 inches.

Power was still out to about 575 Duke Energy customers in Durham around 9 a.m. Sunday. Both Duke and Progress Energy crews were also working on scattered outages in counties throughout WRAL News' viewing area.