Cooper declares State of Emergency ahead of severe weather

HIDDENITE, N.C. (AP) — Flooding from heavy rains across North Carolina prompted Gov. Roy Cooper to declare a state of emergency on Friday as searchers looked for a 1-year-old and an adult who disappeared when high water swept through a campground.

In addition to the statewide declaration, states of emergencies have been declared in Burke, Catawba, Iredell, Yadkin and Alexander County, where flood waters from the South Yadkin River inundated the Hiddenite Family Campground, killing three people. Emergency workers saved 31 people from their vehicles, some of them hanging onto their campers.

A state search and rescue task force went to Alexander County on Thursday night to aid in the search, according to a statement from Cooper’s office.

The campground is approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Charlotte.

In Rolesville, just north of Raleigh, police reported a child drowned on Thursday in a creek swollen by the rain. The child, whose name and age were not released, was recovered unresponsive from the water about an hour later, according to Rolesville police.

The National Weather Service is estimating more than 9 inches (22 centimeters) of rain fell in Rocky Mount and Harrisburg. Many other areas saw estimated rainfall of 4 to 9 inches (10 to 23 centimeters), exceeding weather forecasts, the governor’s office said.

Flooding also prompted hundreds of road closures. According to the governor’s office, the N.C. Department of Transportation reported more than 430 state-maintained road closures, including hundreds of secondary roads from the mountains to the coast and stretches of highways including Interstate 95 north in Johnston County, I-795 in Wilson and N.C. 209 in Madison County, where state crews worked Friday to repair damage caused when a slope failed. Also, numerous bridges were damaged or closed due to flooding.

The governor’s office said major flooding is forecast along the Neuse River and Contentnea Creek and moderate flooding is forecast along the Cashie, Dan, Cape Fear, Northeast Cape Fear, Lumber, Tar, South Fork Catawba, Yadkin and South Yadkin rivers.

Copyright 2020, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


File photo: Blake Blvd. in Pinehurst 2018.

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