Officials warn of mosquito threat following Statesville flooding

IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. — "It was just raining and raining and raining," Statesville resident Nancy Greene said.

Most of the water is gone now, but residents in some Statesville neighborhoods are dealing with the aftermath of this week's heavy rains and flooding.

"The water was coming around the side of the house," Lisa Williamson said. "The driveway was filling up with water."

Williamson was cleaning up mud and dealing with the insurance company, like many of her neighbors.

Now they have to deal with the heightened threat of mosquitoes.

"Anytime that you do have storms or any type of flooding, you want to empty any type of containers around the home, keep your gutter clean and empty -- anywhere that there could be a source of standing water," Marie Horner, with Arrow Exterminators, said.

She said her company has been dealing with mosquitoes not just this week, but all summer.

"The cycle for mosquitoes this year is extremely high because of the weather conditions. Our phones are ringing constantly, all day long."

The Iredell County Health Department said the amount of mosquito complaints has tripled since this time last year.

Department staff has been out all summer, educating residents on how to protect themselves and prevent mosquito breeding grounds from developing.
This is what they recommend all residents do:

  • Drain standing water around your house weekly. Don't forget to drain water from tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, toys and puddles.
  • Dusk and dawn are when mosquitoes that carry the virus are most active. Limit outdoor activities or take precautions to prevent mosquito bites during these times.
  • DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Always follow label instructions carefully.
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants in areas where mosquitoes are active.

Horner said steps like these are especially important as the threat and fear of the Zika virus grows, and the West Nile virus continues to be a threat.

Residents clean up after Statesville flooding

Peggy Deal walked around her Springdale Road home in Statesville Thursday after heavy rainfall flooded her home Wednesday.

"I'm just totally bewildered," Deal said.

Deal watched the water rise in the street out front Wednesday. In her decades in the home, she knew the water never went beyond the road.

IMAGES: Flooding in Iredell County

"[First responders] told me that I had to get out," Deal said. "I couldn't mess around."

Crews rescued 18 people from homes and cars across Statesville Wednesday after heavy rainfall. The rain fell so fast that the drain system couldn't handle all the rain water.

In 911 calls obtained by Eyewitness News, one man called from a stalled car underneath a railroad trestle.

"My wife is an invalid and has a lift to get her in and out and we won't be able to get out without the battery," the caller said.

No one was injured in any of the storms, according to Statesville Fire Interim Chief Gary Styers.

Styers said street department crews were out Thursday clearing drains in case of any possible additional rain.

The Fire Department itself was assessing flood damage at Fire Station 1 Thursday.

More wet weather moved through Statesville Wednesday night after storms dumped more than 7 inches of rain throughout the day, prompting a flood warning.

The heavy rains flooded roads, homes and Statesville High School.

A flood warning was in place until 11 p.m. Thursday for Iredell County, while a flood watch was in effect for much of the area until 8 a.m. Thursday.

Check out video from Chopper 9.

Emergency crews performed 18 water rescues and responded to 12 wrecks, Statesville police said.

The most difficult rescue involved a person in a wheelchair inside a vehicle on South Center Street.

Among the hardest hit areas were Sullivan at Brookdale, Carolina Avenue and South Center Street in Statesville.

No injuries were reported.

The following departments responded to the floods Wednesday: Statesville Fire and Rescue. Statesville Fire Department, Mooresville FD, Charlotte FD, Iredell/North Iredell FD, Troutman FD and Alexander County was on standby.

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