Rain continues; flood watch extended

Posted June 4, 2009 9:50 a.m. EDT
Updated June 5, 2009 5:23 a.m. EDT

— Heavy rain showers became widespread across central North Carolina on Thursday, increasing the chance of flooding.

The rain will last into Friday. Some of those storms could be severe, causing flooding and spawning tornadoes, WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

Widespread flooding is not expected, but some areas could see localized flooding, Maze said.

“Just about everybody has a good chance of getting soaked (Friday),” WRAL chief meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

A lightning strike sparked a house at 105 Rose Lane in Chapel Hill around 3:40 p.m., fire dispatchers said. No one was injured, but officials said damage was estimated at $400,000. It took nearly an hour to get the fire under control.

"Low pressure rides up the front, keeping the rain going all night and all day tomorrow. It may be off and on tomorrow, but it'll be wet, so keep that umbrella handy," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

A flash flood watch is in effect for the Triangle and other counties through Friday afternoon. Some heavier showers and thunderstorms could drop rain at 2 inches an hour and cause localized flooding.

"The main problem has been people trying to drive their car across a flooded road," Gardner said. "Just turn around, and go the other way. It's just not worth it to even try."

Tips for driving in floods

The rain will linger through Saturday morning, tapering off by mid-day. By then, as much as an inch of rain could have fallen.

The highest probability of rain Saturday afternoon is between Fayetteville and Wilmington.

“The farther north you go the drier you will be,” Fishel said.

The rest of the weekend will be dry as the skies stay partly cloudy and temperatures rise once more into the low and mid 80s.