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State of Emergency issued amid dangerous flooding, water rescues in North Carolina

By Kristy Kepley-Steward

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    MCDOWELL COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — Heavy rains and storms Thursday morning caused life-threatening flash flooding in McDowell County.

David Walker, vice chairman of the McDowell County Board of Commissioners issued a State of Emergency for the entire county just after 12 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, due to the heavy rain causing landslides, utility outages, severe damage and road closures.

McDowell County Emergency Services says swift-water rescue teams, fire personnel and law enforcement officers across the county performed water rescues at impassable roads and flooded homes throughout the morning on Thursday, Oct. 7.

All afternoon classes for McDowell Technical Community College for Thursday, Oct. 7, have been canceled.

A flash flood warning remains in effect for McDowell County until 4:30 pm.

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, between 2 and 6 inches of rain have fallen.

Flash flooding is ongoing with numerous flooded roadways and some water rescues ongoing.

Drivers are asked to please avoid all flooded roadways, obey all barricades, and heed all guidance from local officials. If you do not need to travel you are encouraged to postpone travel until this afternoon to allow emergency crews to handle ongoing flooding impacts. Moderate to heavy rain is expected through the afternoon.

Excessive runoff is still ongoing and significant rises are occurring on area streams, including the upper Catawba River, the North Fork Catawba River & North Muddy Creek.

Emergency personnel across McDowell County have responded to 87 storm-related calls since midnight. Multiple rescue teams from neighboring counties have assembled and are staged throughout McDowell to provide assistance.

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