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Storms move away, but cause flooding

By Lindsay Ruebens and Steve Lyttle
lruebens@charlotteobserver.com

Strong thunderstorms powered through the area Saturday evening, sending a creek out of its banks in a flood-prone part of southeast Charlotte.

The storms, which formed ahead of a cold front that will bring a taste of autumn to the Carolinas on Sunday and into the coming week, moved east of Charlotte by early evening.

Severe thunderstorm watches and warnings and a flash flood warning were issued for a time during the afternoon and evening, but all watches and warnings were dropped by 9 p.m.

The Charlotte Fire Department reported McMullen Creek flooded about 6:15 p.m., after National Weather Service radar estimated more than 2 inches of rain fell in the area during a one-hour period. Authorities closed portions of Addison Drive and Lincrest Place, between Sharon Amity and Rama roads, south of Monroe Road, for a few hours.

No residential evacuations were required, and the creek was within its banks by later in the evening. The Addison Drive area is prone to flooding from McMullen Creek during heavy rain events.

There were no other reports of flooding or damage in the Charlotte area. Automated gauges reported 2.3 inches of rain fell during the storm at Winterfield Elementary School and near Charles T. Myers Golf Course, both in east Charlotte. Other parts of the city got much less rainfall from the storm.

Forecasters say conditions will change dramatically Sunday.

Charlotte has received about 3 inches of rain since last weekend -- about three times the usual amount for the first eight days in September. Daily thunderstorms were a problem during the Democratic National Convention.

However, the unsettled weather will be replaced by autumn-like conditions. Sunny skies are expected Sunday, with high temperatures only reaching the low 80s. Humidity levels will be much lower than the past week.

And morning low temperatures for the next few days are expected to be in the upper 50s.

A return to seasonal conditions -- highs in the mid 80s -- is predicted by the middle of the week.

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