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Posted: 4:44 p.m. Monday, July 8, 2013
GASTON COUNTY, N.C. —
As more rain falls a few miles north of Cramerton, water is pouring over the spillway in McAdenville and barreling south towards the town. The river's edges are getting closer to Floyd & Blackie's Coffeehouse & Ice Cream. "There is a lot of water moving down there, and it's moving at a pretty good rate of speed," employee Dave Dellinger said. The parking lot of the coffee shop is next to the banks of the South Fork. The river is already so high that the boat ramp leading to Goat Island cannot be seen. That is gone as a result of more than a week of rain. "The ground is so thoroughly saturated, so I don't think anything else can soak in. It'll all have to run off, which can be kind of scary," Dellinger said. The parking lot flooded after the last big rain. They are watching the river between sales at Cramerton Drug store next door. "We are just watching to stay ready for whatever we need to do," Cramerton Drug owner Lee Isley said. The owner said if the river overflows, he will put sandbags at the back door to keep the water out of his store. "It has definitely been rising here lately," Isley said. Caldwell Street in Gastonia had to be shut down for a few minutes. Heavy rain caused the creek under it to swell and flow over the road. The way is gone, and it's reopened, but people there are wondering if they are going to see another quick downpour Monday night. Drivers said it happened in a flash. "Brief moment of sunshine and just rain, rain," Michael Davis said.
Davis said he had hydroplaned on standing water that suddenly pooled on roads throughout the city. "Sometimes it's a struggle, and the steering shell just kind of turns with it," Davis said. Those who weren't fighting with water on the roads struggled to see through water on the windshield. "The cars that were passing me on Franklin Boulevard were throwing water up on the windshield. And of course you have to have your wipers wide open," said Robin Jenkins.
There were few accidents but a lot of frayed nerves. "And the roads are just filling up with water so fast," said driver Angela Devlin. Drains were found to be pulling water away, but it just wasn't fast enough.
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