Winter rain prompts flood advisories

Posted February 5, 2010 1:40 p.m. EST
Updated February 5, 2010 11:01 p.m. EST

— A winter mix of snow and ice gave way to a cold rain across North Carolina Friday. Widespread rain could flood some roadways – before turning back to snow briefly Saturday morning.

The National Weather Service canceled flood warnings late Friday evening, but flood advisories were still in effect in most of the WRAL News viewing area through early Saturday. (See a list of up-to-date watches and warnings.)

"The possibility of flash flooding exists, although there are no flood warning in progress, but we still have some potential for some heavy rains," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

A tornado watch was also in effect until 3 a.m. for coastal counties as storms moved through that area.

Part of the state will get a second shot at a winter mix when another storm passes overnight into Saturday. A trace of snow could dust the Triangle, while up to an inch could fall in northern counties, mainly above Interstate 85 and along the Virginia border.

"Even though the Raleigh area isn't in the advisory, we could possibly see some light snow around here for the first part of the day," Maze said.

Anywhere from nearly 1 inch to 2 inches of rain fell in the area over a 24-hour period – about 2 inches fell at WRAL's studios on Western Boulevard in Raleigh, although official numbers at Raleigh-Durham International Airport put that number at 1.43 inches.

Other rainfall totals as of 11 p.m. included 1.84 inches in Chapel Hill, 1.61 inches in Fayetteville, 1.38 inches in Oxford, 1.34 inches in Goldsboro and .74 inches in Rocky Mount.

In Raleigh, parks and recreation officials warned that flooding was possible along various sections of Raleigh's Capital Area Greenway system.

At Crabtree Valley Creek, near Crabtree Valley Mall, water levels were on the rise, covering some bridges and walkways in the area. There was also some reports of minor flooding at Walnut Creek in Raleigh.

Officials urged pedestrians and motorists to be aware of rising water in low-lying areas and to refrain from driving through any standing water.

The inclement weather threatened a snow make-up day for Wake County schools on Saturday. School officials said they would be watching the weather to determine if any delays would be needed.

The threat caused Chapel Hill Public Schools to cancel ACT testing scheduled at East Chapel Hill High School on Saturday. Officials gave no new date as to when that would be rescheduled.

Drivers should also across the region should keep an eye out light ice on roadways throughout Sunday.

Meanwhile, as the Triangle deals with a second round of potential winter weather in less than a week, Washington D.C. could see one of the biggest snowstorms in history

Life in the nation's capital ground to a halt Friday as steady snow fell, the beginning of a storm that forecasters said could be the biggest in modern history.

A record 2.5 feet or more was predicted for the area, where snow was falling heavily by evening, with big amounts expected elsewhere throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Authorities already were blaming the storm for hundreds of wrecks and at least two deaths.