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3 water rescues in Stanly County as North Carolina floods from heavy rain

At least 50 roads were flooded Thursday morning in Stanly County has the Carolinas battled its fourth straight day of prolonged rains.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An extensive portion of North Carolina was under a Flash Flood Warning Thursday as another day of prolonged rain left grounds saturated and waterways cresting.

From north-to-south, 100-mile tall Flash Flood Warning stretched from the Triad to the South Carolina line, including in Richmond, Anson, and Stanly counties in North Carolina.

About 50 roads flooded in Stanly County Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service in Raleigh. 

The Rocky River flooded a section of Hillford Road in Oakboro, and water levels came close to splashing over NC 138. The river rose to a level of at least 28 feet, just two feet shy of moderate flood stage Wednesday. 

Tom and Betty Hill live on the river's edge.

“Poor old kayakers aren’t going to be able to even go down this river for a long time," Betty Hill said. "It goes faster and faster once it gets higher.”

Radar estimates show the area has seen over 5 inches of rainfall accumulation, with additional water flowing from upstream locations. 

An additional Rocky River stream gauge upstream in Cabarrus County shows the river near 20 feet and in minor flood stage.

A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for most of the Charlotte region.

"The problem is everything is saturated," said First Warn Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich. "Any additional rain that falls is going to cause flooding."

Since Monday, rainfall totals have reached:

  • Avery County: 11.5
  • Wilkes: 12.54"
  • Burke County: 11.88"
  • Rutherford County: 11.06"

In Gaston County, wet roads caused a tractor trailer to jackknife on Interstate 85 near US-321.

Gastonia Fire Department's Ladder 4 was heading on the way to the I-85 crash when it slammed into a car at the intersection of Franklin Blvd. and Cox Rd.The department said the driver ignored the ladder truck’s lights and sirens as it entered the intersection.The driver was taken to the hospital with injuries, and no firefighters were injured.

In neighboring Cleveland County, river gauges show the Broad River beginning to swell again as it handles water flowing downstreams from the foothills and mountains.

The same with the Catawba River, which remained in flood stage at 102 feet at river gauges along the waterway:

  • Along Lake James at the Bridgewater Dam in Burke County
  • At the Rhodhiss Dam along Burke and Caldwell counties
  • At Lookout Shoals Dam along Catawba and Iredell counties

Communities downstream, including Charlotte and Mecklenburg county, should continue to monitor river levels as water flows downstream.

Duke Energy, which controls the waterflow at its hydraulic dams, has been releasing water during and ahead of the rain to help increase capacities in the rivers and lakes.

Periods of scattered, heavy rain will continue in Friday. 

Friday faces an additional challenge for Charlotte, Piedmont and most on North Carolina and South Carolina: there is a low chance a scattered thunderstorm could be strong-to-severe with potentially damaging winds. 

RELATED: Tropical Storm Arthur brings heavy rain, wind to North Carolina's coast Monday

RELATED: NOAA predicts 'busy' Atlantic hurricane season with 3-6 major storms

In the event of flooding, the National Weather Service would issue flood bulletins. The most severe conditions would warrant a Flash Flood Warning.

A Flash Flood Warning is issued when sudden, onset flooding is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area, you would be advised to move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop.

It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain. Flooding can occur downstream or at lower elevations from where rainfall is occurring.

Be notified of Flash Flood Warnings in your area: Download the WCNC news or weather app to receive severe weather notifications for your location.

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