Nicole hovers over NC mountains and foothills, leaving flooding in its wake

WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. — Several areas in Boone and in Blowing Rock were flooded Friday from Nicole, which was a tropical depression by the time it reached North Carolina.

Channel 9′s Dave Faherty saw residents who live near a creek, which had already flooded once Friday morning, with sandbags outside their doors.

Over in Blowing Rock, public works employees scrambled to clear blocked storm drains that caused flooding along Church Street near Highway 321.

In Boone, Faherty spotted several people trying to get around some of the flooded streets, like Deerfield and Bamboo roads. He saw more of the same over at the Boone Mall, where the parking lot is prone to flooding from heavy rain and from Kraut Creek cresting its banks.

Several drivers were unable to get to their cars as a large portion of the parking lot flooded Friday morning.

Faherty talked with several drivers who live or work in low lying areas near Boone. They were moving their vehicles to higher ground with more rain expected Friday afternoon.

North Carolina foothills prepare for arrival of TS Nicole

On Thursday around noon, the rain from Tropical Storm Nicole hadn’t started yet in Lenoir, but the area was expecting a significant amount overnight and into Friday.

The timing of the storm’s arrival couldn’t be worse, as it’s right in the heart of the fall leaf season. Faherty saw employees out with Lenoir Public Works trying to clear storm drains Thursday morning.

As much as 2 inches of rain is expected to fall in Lenoir, with totals that could be higher farther north and along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The concern lies in the possibility for street flooding, with so many storm drains covered up with leaves right now.

In Lenoir and in Hickory, residents are allowed to rake their leaves to the curb so that the city can go around and pick them up.

Public works director Jon Hogan told Faherty his crews are actually ahead of schedule, and both the street division and sanitation department are working to clear problem areas.

“The timing on this is bad because of the amount of leaves on the ground. And as quick as they can clean them up, leaves are still falling,” Hogan said. “They’re going to be in the roads and fill up ditches and possibly storm drains.”

(WATCH PREVIOUS BELOW: North Carolina foothills prepare for arrival of TS Nicole)