Governor Cooper Urges North Carolinians to Keep Watchful Eye on Heavy Rainfall Forecasts Flood watches, warnings and potential for landslides due to heavy rains

Raleigh

Governor Roy Cooper is encouraging North Carolinians to stay vigilant and pay attention to local forecasts as more bands of heavy showers and storms are predicted through Sunday evening. The threat for flash flooding and potential for landslides making travel conditions treacherous in the mountains and foothills should not be ignored.

“Though the rain may have slowed, the threat is not over,” said Governor Cooper. “I urge everyone to make safety their first priority, particularly in areas where constant rain has fallen the last couple of days.”

Meteorologists are predicting additional bands of showers and thunderstorms producing heavy rains across the state through Sunday with the heaviest downpours largely in western counties. Up to six inches of additional rainfall is possible for portions of Western NC through mid-week next week.  Locally higher amounts are possible where storms redevelop. Heavy rainfall rates up to 1-to-2 inches per hour are possible in the heaviest downpours, which are expected this afternoon through Saturday night along the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The heavy downpours will likely driving conditions dangerous. With recent rains and more rainfall building in the west, the risk of landslides and debris flow increases. Up to five inches of additional rainfall is possible for portions of Central NC through mid-week next week.

Much of the mountains and foothills remain under a Moderate Risk for Flash Flooding Saturday and Sunday.  A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for the western half of NC through 8 p.m. Sunday. With up to 7” of rain already accumulated in some areas in the west, any additional rainfall will increase the flooding risk especially in urban and poorly drained areas.

Emergency officials urge residents to follow these safety tips:
•    Move to higher ground when flash flood warnings are issued. Don’t wait for instructions.
•    Never drive into flooded areas or across flooded roads. If you cannot see the road, it may not be there.
•    Do not walk through moving water. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult.
•    Follow detours and obey traffic barricades that close off roads.
•    Never park or camp along streams, rivers or creeks.

For the latest flooding information, download the ReadyNC mobile app and check the flood gauges nearest you at fiman.nc.gov. For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow @NCDOT on Twitter.

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