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Death toll climbs after flash flooding in North Carolina

By Simone Jasper, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on

Published in Weather News

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina is still dealing with the effects of severe flash flooding that left at least 10 people dead across the state on Thursday.

The weather system tied to Tropical Storm Eta pounded the state with heavy rain, dropping more than 9 inches in some areas, including Rocky Mount, according to the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service extended its flash flood warning for much of central North Carolina until Friday afternoon. Affected areas include Alamance, Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties.

Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday declared a state of emergency across North Carolina.

"While many rivers across western and central NC will crest today or are currently receding, rivers across eastern North Carolina will continue to rise through the weekend," the governor's office said in a news release.

The Neuse River in Smithfield reached "major" flood status, rising to 21.06 feet Friday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. It's expected to crest later Friday at 21.5 feet. Near Goldsboro, forecasters say, the Neuse will likely rise to 25.6 feet on Sunday.

 

The Cape Fear River near Burgaw is expected to be at "moderate" flood level over the weekend and into next week. Forecasters predict it will top out at 12.8 feet Wednesday.

Among the hardest-hit areas of the state was Alexander County, roughly 65 miles northwest of Charlotte, where three people died Thursday and another 31 were rescued from a flooded campground. Another person was found dead Friday as search efforts continued for a 1-year-old child missing from the area.

Also in Alexander County, one person died after a car left the road and went into water, officials say.

Near Raleigh, police say a child drowned in the town of Rolesville. The child was found unresponsive after playing near a swollen creek.

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