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North Carolina Inundated By Storms

A picture of a puddle.
North Carolina has been inundated with heavy rain and high tides.

Several storms, including Hurricane Joaquin, have brought heavy rains, strong winds, and high tides to North Carolina. It's causing flooding, saturated ground, slick roads and falling trees.

Atlantic Coast

National Weather Service Meteorologist Chris Collins say Carteret County has received up to 15 inches of rain in some places.

"The heaviest of the rain will be today and tonight. Maybe a little bit of rain, right along the coast in the morning. Then we expect the rain to clear out, but the water levels are still going to remain rather high 'cause we're gonna continue to have gusty northeast winds. I imagine we'll have at least some coastal flooding going on till about Wednesday."

Hyde County officials have banned visitors from Ocracoke.

Numerous roads in Brunswick and New Hanover counties in southeastern North Carolina are impassable as a storm system that inundated South Carolina moves north. On its Facebook page, the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office listed almost 30 roads that were impassable. New Hanover County listed on its website about 25 closed roads. The rainstorm around the Southeast has drawn tropical moisture from offshore that's linked up with an area of low pressure and a slow-moving front.

Western N.C.

A a Georgia man has died on a rain-slickened road in western North Carolina, making him the second weather-related death in the state. Highway Patrol Trooper Travis Cochran says the driver crossed the center line of U.S. 441 in Jackson County, hitting another vehicle head-on. Cochran says the driver of the first car, 57-year-old Kevin Kent Spurley was killed in the crash Saturday. Two people in the second car were taken to a hospital.

On Thursday, high winds toppled a tree that hit a vehicle and killed a passenger near Fayetteville.

The pastor of Taylorsville church damaged by a falling tree says he's certain the building will be fully restored. Pastor Paul Sink says a tree fell early Saturday on Taylorsville Presbyterian Church. He says the church was built in 1912, and the tree was planted about the same time.


If rainfall continues, the Triangle could match a record 12-consecutive days of rainfall. National Weather Service Meteorologist Brandon Locklear says the record was established in the late 1800s. If today's drizzle adds up to even one-hundredth of an inch, the record will be matched. Locklear says the rainy streak over the Piedmonth should end tonight, with blue skies tomorrow.

Official Action

North Carolina's Emergency Management officials have deployed rescue teams to South Carolina, which is experiencing record flooding.  Four North Carolina Helo Aquatic Rescue Teams deployed last night to help stranded residents and motorists who are trapped in the rising flood waters. Each team is comprised of three to five rescue technicians and National Guard pilots and crew who train monthly to maintain their certification.

Governor Pat McCrory says that while weather forecasts have improved, portions of North Carolina remain vulnerable to severe flooding. In a statement the governor urged people in low-lying areas and flood-prone regions to remain on high alert, pay close attention to weather forecasts and follow instructions from local officials. Up to six inches of rain fell across the southern mountains Saturday.  Rainfall totals could exceed seven inches within the next 72 hours in some southeastern counties. Scattered power outages and downed trees are possible across the state given the super-saturated ground.


Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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