Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Michael flood rivers in western NC
Tropical Storm Michael surged across North Carolina, leaving dangerous flash floods, heavy rain and strong winds in its wake Thursday.
One death was linked to the storm in North Carolina Thursday. Gov. Roy Cooper said in an evening press conference that a man died when a tree fell on a car in Iredell County. It was one of 11 storm-related deaths — including five in Virginia, according to a tweet from the Virginia Dept. of Emergency Management.
“Dozens” of people were rescued from flash floods and rising rivers Thursday, Cooper said. Many were in the western part of the state near Henderson County and Asheville.
The Piedmont was projected to see the most rainfall with 3 to 6 inches, and other parts of the state anywhere from 2 to 5 inches, the National Weather Service said.
On Friday morning, among the highest 24-hour precipitation totals were 4.17 inches in Winston-Salem and 4.09 inches in Greensboro, according to the weather service.
Flash flood, tropical storm and tornado watches and warnings covered much of the state Thursday evening, with wind gusts reaching above 50 mph in some areas. More than 6 inches of rain had already fallen across parts of North Carolina by Thursday morning.
As of 4 p.m., the North Carolina Highway Patrol had responded to 450 collisions and 780 calls for service and officials asked that people not call 911 unless it is an emergency.
ABC11 reported that a tree fell on a truck at the N.C. State Fairgrounds, injuring a man.
Nearly a half-million were without power in North and South Carolina as of Friday morning, according to Duke Energy and North Carolina Emergency Management.
Duke Energy alerted customers Wednesday night that Michael could cause up to a half-million power outages in North Carolina and South Carolina.
“With the already saturated ground, these conditions could cause downed trees and power lines resulting in 300,000 to 500,000 outages” in the Carolinas, Duke said in an email alert.
In downtown Raleigh, Capital Boulevard near Peace Street and Wade Avenue shut down Thursday afternoon because of flooding, Spectrum News reported.
Flood warnings were issued in multiple western North Carolina counties: McDowell, Burke, Buncombe, Henderson, Rutherford, Polk, Transylvania and Gaston.
Several water rescues took place as a result of flash flooding in Henderson County early Thursday, The Charlotte Observer reported.