RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Flood watches have been issued for much of southern North Carolina including Moore County as forecasters warn heavy rain from Subtropical Storm Alberto will spread across much of the state in the next 24 hours.

Forecasters say the most dangerous conditions could be in the mountains.

The National Weather Service says the ground is already saturated from a week of heavy rain and the 5 inches (13 centimeters) of rain possible through Tuesday could both cause creeks and rivers to flood and mudslides. Some mountain communities are already recommending evacuations from the most threatened areas.

The flood watch is mostly south of Interstate 40 and U.S. Highway 64. Forecasters expect up to 3 inches (8 centimeters) starting Sunday night on already saturated ground.

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