People rescued, cars flooded at Boone Mall

BOONE, NC (WBTV) - Heavy rainfall has caused extensive flooding in some areas of the North Carolina mountains and some people had to be rescued from their vehicles after water started flooding areas around Boone Mall Tuesday morning.

According to the National Weather Service, a Flash Flood Warning is in effect in Watauga and Ashe counties until 3:15 p.m. where 4-7 inches of rain have fallen in the last 24 hours.

The rain was so heavy in Watauga County, it caused a section of the parking lot at Boone Mall on Blowing Rock Road to flood.

According to the Boone Police Department, the driver of a BMW and two people in a Ford Ranger had to be rescued from the mall parking lot near the JC Penney and Old Navy stores.

As of 11:38 a.m., BPD said Blowing Rock Road was not closed. They are, however, keeping a close watchful eye on the parking lot which is now cordoned off. They are also monitoring Deerfield Road in case it floods over.

The mall is not closed and employees should report to work.

Around 6 a.m., Reporter Ron Lee did a live report from outside the mall where water in a nearby creek was already overflowing its banks and beginning to creep into the mall's parking lot.

The National Weather Service says the ground is saturated and more rain in the area is expected to caused flash flooding in the following areas: Moses Cone Memorial Park, Cascade Falls, Mount Jefferson, Grandfather Mountain, Wagoner, Othello, Idlewild, Glendale Springs, Fleetwood, Baldwin, Laurel Springs, Wilbar, Summit, McGrady, Halls Mills, Darby, Maple Springs, Todd, Seven Devils, Sands, Rutherwood, Foscoe, Deep Gap, Boone, Blowing Rock and Aho.

Additional rainfall amounts of an inch or more are possible through 2 p.m. this afternoon. Higher amounts of two to three inches are possible on eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge across the North Carolina High County.

Excessive runoff from the heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks, streams, country roads and farmland, the NWS said.

In addition to the rain concerns, the NWS expanded a Tornado Watch for the entire WBTV coverage area until Tuesday at 8 p.m. Click to read related story about storms in our area. Earlier in the day, it was only issued for a few counties east of Charlotte.

The entire area remains under a Flash Flood Watch until 8 a.m. Wednesday.

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