Around 250mm (9 inches) of rain fell in 48 hours in parts of North Carolina, causing deadly flash flooding.
The National Weather Service in Raleigh reported 249.43mm / 9.82 inches of rain fell in Rocky Mount in 48 hours to 12 November. The heavy rain was brought moisture from Tropical Storm Eta colliding with a cold front.
Severe flash flooding was reported across North Carolina, in particular in Alexander, Wake and Iredell Counties and areas of Charlotte. North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) said “the rain caused hundreds of road closures, a few interstate shutdowns and some bridge washouts.”
At least 3 people died and 31 were rescued after a flash floods swept through a camping ground near the South Yadkin River in Alexander County. Three other people are thought to be still missing. In a separate incident, 1 person died in Alexander County when flood waters destroyed a bridge.
The South Yadkin River at Mocksville jumped from 3.5 feet early on 11 November to 24.57 feet early 13 November, beating the previous record high of 22.6 feet set in 1929.
Other flood-related fatalities were reported in Wake County (1) and Iredell County (2). In Charlotte, flash flooding prompted the evacuation of a school. The Fire Department said they rescued 143 people.
After prolonged heavy rainfall, river levels in the area are expected to stay high for some time. North Carolina Emergency Management said: “Though the rain is clearing, it will take time for the flooding of streams, creeks and roadways to subside. Several gauges are currently at Moderate or Major Flood Stage with several areas predicted to continue rising throughout the week.”
CFD Units are currently on scene in the 9500 Block of David Taylor Dr; heavy flooding has lead to the evacuation of a Charter School; no injuries at this time; 143 persons have been rescued pic.twitter.com/ltDWL2CF4F
— Charlotte Fire Dept (@CharlotteFD) November 12, 2020
Flash flooding and washout are real life dangers not to be taken lightly.
🚧 A few of inches of rushing water can wash a car away and become deadly. pic.twitter.com/ckEYuUJpLo
— NCDOT (@NCDOT) November 12, 2020
CLOSE CALL! A bridge in Alexander County collapsed live on-air. Flooding rains have brought dangerous conditions across the western Carolinas. Please stay safe, everyone! @AmberFOX46
— FOX 46 Charlotte (@FOX46News) November 12, 2020
Here is the radar-estimated 48-hr rainfall plus a few unofficial observations for recent heavy rain event. Flooded roads and swollen creeks will persist across the area through this evening and tonight, so please take it easy out there. #ncwx pic.twitter.com/uhyfufN6dQ
— NWS Raleigh (@NWSRaleigh) November 12, 2020