Catawba, Caldwell counties declare State of Emergency after days of heavy rain

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — The Catawba County Board of Commissioners has declared a State of Emergency in the county after days of heavy rainfall in the area and in anticipation of more over the next several days.

Officials said the excessive rainfall has led to "numerous water rescues, severe flooding, infrastruture damage, hazardous travel conditions, and the potential for widespread power outages." In addition, a Catawba County apartment complex has been evacuated due to localized flooding.

[PHOTOS: Heavy rain leads to localized flooding, road closures, damage to homes]

Catawba County leaders said the State of Emergency declaration will allow emergency responders to coordinate response and recovery efforts in all affected areas of the county.

Sunday afternoon, Catawba County Schools announced it will close all schools to students on Monday. It will be an optional teacher workday.

The district reports that some schools have standing water inside and also cites multiple road closures as the reason for closing schools.

Newton-Conover Schools were on a two-hour delayed start Monday.

The city of Hickory also declared a State of Emergency Sunday morning, citing flooding and flash flooding, significant damage to streets, bridges, and other public infrastructure, and residents being evacuated from their homes.

"As we continue to monitor the weather over the next few days, we want citizens to know that  city leaders and employees are proactively taking steps to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community," Mayor Hank Guess said.

Hickory also announced it was closing all public parks on Monday in the wake of the flooding.

On Sunday afternoon, Caldwell County also declared a state of emergency.

Severe Weather Center 9 meteorologists said rain across the Charlotte region started on Friday, June 7 and is expected to continue pounding the area until at least Wednesday.

In addition, officials said the Catawba County Parks System has closed Bakers Mountain Park, RiverBend Park, and St. Stephens Park because of storm-related conditions.