Powerful storms, possible tornadoes leave wake of destruction in Mecklenburg, surrounding counties
A Flash Flood Warning and Severe Thunderstorm Warning was also issued for WBTV viewing area counties
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It has been a rough day across the Carolinas. The rain is continuing off to the east – but it will be a few more hours before we can completely dry out.
Remember to never walk or drive through standing water. Many places continue to have Flood Warnings as some places have gotten 3-4”, with some spots getting even more. A big concern is the South Fork Catawba River at Lowell. Water could potentially move into the city of Cramerton.
Reports of downed trees, flooded roads and damaged homes came in from every corner of the WBTV viewing area. Two deaths in the Carolinas were blamed on the severe weather. A driver was killed when a falling tree struck their vehicle in York County and a man hydroplaned off the road into a creek in Gaston.
Close to 15,000 power outages were reported in Mecklenburg County Thursday night, according to the Duke Energy outage map. Duke Energy officials say crews will continue to work through the evening and will have estimated restorations times by noon Friday.
Flash Flood Warnings remain in effect for Anson, Chester, Gaston, Richmond, Stanly, Union, and York counties until Friday morning.
A voluntary evacuation was called for areas along South Fork River in Gaston County due to flooding threats.
A Tornado Watch wass in effect for the counties of Mecklenburg Rowan, Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Richmond, Rutherford, Stanly, Union, Chester, Chesterfield, Lancaster, and York through 5 p.m. Thursday.
The Charlotte-Douglas International Airport issued a “Shelter in Place” and said the FAA evacuated the tower.
A tornado touched down in Kannapolis, city officials confirmed around 12:30 p.m.
In Catawba County, a State of Emergency was issued at 12:30 p.m. due to excessive rainfall.
“The excessive rainfall has resulted in severe flooding, infrastructure damage, hazardous travel conditions and the potential for widespread power outages for residents in the County,” officials announced. “The declaration enables Catawba County Emergency Services to implement coordinated response and recovery efforts in all affected unincorporated areas of the county in alignment with the Catawba County Emergency Operations Plan and in collaboration with emergency response partners.”
Multiple area schools dismissed early due to flooding and tornado concerns. Some schools announced a delay for Friday as well.
A Flash Flood Warning was issued for Alexander, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln County until 4:45 p.m. Thursday. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for York, Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln and Mecklenburg County until 11:45 a.m.
Multiple roads were flooded and trees downed across the area.
A cold front will continue to slowly move across the Carolinas tonight into Friday morning, bringing lingering rain and gusty winds. Rain will diminish after midnight, yet flooding along creeks, streams, and rivers will likely continue into Friday morning. The NC mountains may see enough cold air tonight, that a changeover to a rain-snow mix is possible for the higher elevations.
Friday morning will start off with morning temperatures in the 40s and afternoon temperatures in the lower 50s. Clearing skies develop Friday night, with temperatures cooling into the upper 20s into Saturday morning.
Saturday will feature mostly cloudy skies with a few rain showers possible, and chilly temperatures in the upper 40s to around 50 degrees.
Sunday will feature some improvement, with more sunshine developing, and afternoon high temperatures in the upper 50s.
Milder temperatures will develop Monday through Wednesday, with high temperatures in the low to mid 60s. Scattered rain showers will be possible early next week, with Tuesday having the best chance for rain.
Stay safe and use caution if you have to travel tonight!
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