NEWTON, N.C. -- Catawba County and cities within it have declared a state of emergency following heavy rainfall and severe flash flooding.
Photos: Catawba Co. sinkhole, damaged gas station
Emergency personnel are on hand throughout the county to assist residents. County officials are urging people to stay away from the water for their own safety. Crews have performed two water rescues. One motorist was swept away, as was the second who tried to save him.
Newton and Hickory have each declared personal states of emergency.
Aerial photos of Hickory flooding
In Newton, two electric circuits went down because of the flood. City officials say power cannot be restored until water recedes.
The American Red Cross set up a shelter for those in need at the Newton Recreation Center.
More than 50 roadways and bridges were deemed impassable. The following roads are expected to take at least three months to fix:
- 600 block of McLin Creek Rd in Conover
- Huffman Farm Rd in the Mountain View area of Hickory
- Mull Rd in Vale in southwest Catawba County
- Old Farm Rd in the Mountain View area of Hickory
- Grace Church Rd in the Propst area of southwest Catawba County
- Gracie Lane in the Propst area of southwest Catawba County
- 4th Street SW - Conover
- Fairway Drive
- Leatherman Road
- Lynn Mountain Road
- Mitchell Drive
- NC 10 @ Long Drive
- Palm Tree Drive
- Travis Road
On Sunday, Catawba County Emergency Management officials announced the following temporary road closures due to high water:
- Bunker Hill Road
- Deal Road
- Finger Bridge Road
- Keisler Dairy Road
- Rocky Ford Road
- Rome Jones Road
- Sigmon Dairy Road
Sunday afternoon, the following Catawba County roadways have been reopened following shoulder washouts:
- US 321 Business - 1600 block
- West 7th Street @ 321 Business
Nearly a foot of rain even brought down part of a gas station. The canopy above the pumps at a local Citgo collapsed after trying to hold all of the rainfall. It fell around 7 a.m. An employee says a driver pulled away just before the structure gave away. No one was hurt.
A sinkhole also opened on Northwest Boulevard near 16th.
In Hickory, the Hickory Motor Speedway was completely submerged until water receded by the afternoon. Hickory officials responded to more than 100 calls for assistance.
Credit: Norm Cook
The following roads were closed there:
- 3800 block of PineCrest NE
- 2000 block of 46th Avenue Drive ND
- 100 block of 29th Avenue NW
- 200 block of 30th Avenue NW
- 1100 block of 7th Avenue NW
- 2nd Street NE off Falloing Creek Road
Catawba County Park Systems
St. Stephens Park opened at 8 a.m. Sunday.
Riverbend and Bakers Mountain Parks reopened at noon Sunday. At Riverbend Park, shoreline trails and amenities have limited access.
Authorities ask that the public use caution on trails, as some areas were impacted from excessive rainfall.