Massive flooding in WBTV viewing area leads to evacuations, rescues and search efforts

Updated: Nov. 12, 2020 at 5:13 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Heavy rainfall across the WBTV viewing area caused major flooding that led to evacuations, water rescues and school closings Thursday. Search efforts continued Friday for those missing in Alexander County and a Voluntary Evacuation Order was issued for residents along part of the Catawba River.

The flooding caused very dangerous conditions for both drivers and homeowners in many areas. Multiple Flash Flood Warnings were issued for counties across both North and South Carolina.

Flash Flood Warnings were in effect for Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, and Union County in NC through the afternoon hours. | STAY ALERT: Receive updates for severe weather in your area - Click here to download the WBTV Weather App.

Below, we compiled a running list of reports from our crews across the WBTV viewing area.


The search continues for two people, including a 1-year-old, believed to have been swept away in Thursday floodwaters at the Hiddenite Family Campground in Alexander County.


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management issued a Voluntary Evacuation Order for areas south of the Mountain Island Lake dam as water levels continue to rise from Thursday’s heavy rainfall. The order was issued for Riverside Drive, Lake Drive, Beagle Club Road and Hart Road. The order went into effect at 6:45 a.m. Friday.

“Residents in this area are advised to evacuate immediately and seek higher ground,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management officials wrote. “Water levels on the Catawba River in this area are expected to reach 103.5 feet or higher.”

A congregate shelter will be activated for displaced residents at Hopewell High School, located at 11530 Beatties Ford Road in Huntersville. The shelter will open at 7:30 a.m. Friday and residents will be able to bring their pets with them.


A 30 foot long sinkhole opens up in the parking area of the Morganton post office.

5:00 P.M. YORK

A private driveway was washed away by flooding in York.


In Harrisburg, Pharr Mill Road near Paul Linker Place is still completely closed due to flooding and officials say it appears it could be several more hours. Drivers are advised to not drive around flood barriers.


Kannapolis officials say they have received three inches of rain Thursday. Firefighters rescued 15 to 20 people and pets from flooded homes. Officials are working with the Red Cross to place them in shelters. Water and Transportation staff are repairing water and sewer lines which have been damaged and reopening flooded streets. Parks and Recreation staff are dealing with a number of park and greenway flooding issues.


Three people were killed, two are still missing - including a baby - and more than 30 were rescued as floodwaters overtook a campground in Alexander County Thursday.

At least 31 campers were rescued at the Hiddenite Family Camp Ground off of Princess Lane near the South Yadkin River, and officials say two people are still missing.


Charlotte-Mecklenburg community leaders are holding a press conference at 1:10 p.m. to provide an update on weather in the area.

Watch the event live below:

Mecklenburg Co. emergency management officials update public on flooding

CHARLOTTE FLOODING UPDATE: Mecklenburg County emergency officials are addressing the massive flooding across the area » Watch live 👇

Posted by WBTV News on Thursday, November 12, 2020

12:00 P.M. Mecklenburg County

Mecklenburg County reported 63 road closures due to flooding and one school evacuated (Corvian Community Elementary School) due to flooding with around 25 cars flooded. The county also reported a flood rescue along John Price Road and another at Spruce Street near West Boulevard. Charlotte firefighters have responded to over 100 flood-related calls for service.

12:00 P.M. Alexander County

Crews are searching for five missing people in the floodwaters at Hiddenite Family Campground in Alexander County.

At least 33 people have already been rescued from the area.

11 A.M. Mecklenburg County

As rain seemed to taper off for many across the area, flood dangers were still very much an issue for many across the area.

Morehead Road between Freedom Drive and Wilkinson Boulevard was completely impassable.

10:30 A.M. Mecklenburg County

Firefighters rescued 143 people as Corvian Community School, a charter school in northeast Charlotte, was evacuated. Video tweeted by CFD shows water nearly completely covering vehicles in the school’s parking lot. Luckily, no injuries were reported.

Students and staff were taken from the school and covered by tents set up nearby.

The City of Charlotte warned residents to stay off the roads if possible, never drive across flooded streets and to report any issues by calling 311.

10 A.M. York County, S.C.

Devinney Rd between US 321 and Connolly Rd in York was closed due to the flooding.

Emergency officials urged drivers to be safe and not drive across flooded roads, even if the water level appears low.

10 A.M. Mecklenburg County

9 A.M. Mecklenburg County

Multiple road closures were reported across the Charlotte area as streets were flooded with rain.

Interstate 85 was completely flooded at Little Rock Road – both the north and southbound lanes. The roadway opened back up shortly before 10 a.m.

9 A.M. Iredell County

A bridge was washed away Cattlemans Road at Snow Creek, appearing to nearly take a vehicle with it. Luckily no injuries were reported.

9 A.M. Caldwell County

A major road in between Morganton and Lenoir, Highway 18/64, was closed as high water covered both lanes.

8 A.M. Catawba County

Catawba County declared a State of Emergency effective at 8 a.m. “due to excessive rain causing flooding, power outages, road closures and hazardous conditions.”

Catawba Schools went to remote learning for students and staff. “We have hazardous road conditions, flash flooding, and power outages now being reported across our county,” district officials wrote. “Our goal is for teachers to post assignments by 9:30 AM and students are expected to complete their assignments.”

7 A.M. Alexander County

Multiple water rescues were carried out across Alexander County.

Firefighters say 33 campers were trapped at the Hiddenite Family Camp Ground off of Princess Lane near the South Yadkin River and had to be rescued.

7 A.M. Burke County

Mineral Springs Mountain Road was closed due a mudslide.

6 A.M. School Closings/Delays

Multiple schools across the WBTV viewing area were closed, delayed or went to virtual learning due to the dangerous conditions.


Caldwell County Schools and Burke County Schools issued a two-hour delay. Hickory Public Schools, Catawba Schools and Alexander County Schools opted for virtual learning.

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