Early Thursday morning, a round of strong storms caused life-threatening flash flooding in McDowell County. Swift water rescue teams, fire personnel and law enforcement officers were performing water rescues at impassable roads and flooded homes throughout the morning.
A flash flood warning remains in effect for McDowell County until 4:30 p.m. Between 2 and 6 inches of rain have fallen.
Flash flooding is ongoing with numerous flooded roadways and some water rescues ongoing. Please avoid all flooded roadways, obey all barricades, and heed all guidance from local officials.
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If you do not need to travel you are encouraged to postpone travel until this afternoon to allow emergency crews to handle ongoing flooding impacts. Moderate to heavy rain is expected through the afternoon. Excessive runoff is still ongoing and significant rises are occurring on area streams, including the upper Catawba River, the North Fork Catawba River and North Muddy Creek.
Emergency personnel across McDowell County have responded to 87 storm-related calls since midnight. Multiple rescue teams from neighboring counties have assembled and are staged throughout McDowell to provide assistance.