Water creeps into homes near Stewart Creek in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
More rain is on the way to the Charlotte area following hours of downpours Thursday.
Severe Weather Team 9 meteorologist Keith Monday said there is less of a flood risk Friday, but there will be passing showers all day.
But emergency officials warn that even a small amount of rain can cause flooding because the ground has taken in so much water over the last few weeks.
"Our ground cannot take any more water. Everything that falls now is going into the creek, which means the creek is going to come up very, very fast,” said Chief Jeff Dulin with the Charlotte Fire Department.
Residents of northwest Charlotte near the Brookshire Freeway found their cars and homes flooded Thursday after more than 4 inches of rain fell quickly, causing Stewart Creek to overflow. Some had to find somewhere else to stay overnight while their homes dry out.
Emergency officials said residents should be prepared if they live in a flood zone. They need to have a plan in place so they will know what to do if their homes begin to flood. They should have an emergency kit ready, filled with food, water and clothing, in case they have to evacuate. Also, potential flood victims should arrange a place to stay if they are flooded out of their homes.
Kenneth Stevenson, who lives in the Oakview Terrace neighborhood near Interstate 85, said that after days of rain, he was taking precautions.
“We’re in the midst of getting out tonight – like very soon,” he said late Thursday.
Emergency officials also want to remind people that swift-moving water is very powerful. Drivers should be cautious while crossing bridges and avoid driving through moving water because flood waters can pick up a car and move it.
Not everyone was able to walk away from their homes on Thursday. Emergency workers had to use boats to rescue about 50 people from their homes and cars.
Two people stayed overnight at a Red Cross shelter set up in the Northwest School of the Arts. Red Cross officials said they will assess conditions Friday and determine whether to reopen the shelter.
At the height of the rain Thursday, the Charlotte Fire Department responded to 148 emergency calls with more than two dozen of them related to flooding.
Emergency officials said crews are standing by, prepared for more flooding.