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Heavy rain closes schools, causes traffic delays

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

Heavy rain is falling throughout the Charlotte region, sparking flash flood warnings, closing or delaying schools in the foothills and generally making the morning commute in Charlotte a mess.

A flash flood warning is in effect for Watauga County. And flood warnings are in effect until midnight for several counties in the mountains and foothills: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba and Cleveland. Because of the flooding, schools in Avery County are closed Monday. Schools in Watauga are on a two-hour delay.

Charlotte was doused for most of Sunday and on Monday, the Charlotte area saw an uptick in rainfall intensity, in addition to winds over 40 mph within the strongest rain bands.

Banner Elk and Newland had more than five inches of rain. Boone had 2.5 inches.

Emergency crews in Burke County had to rescue at least two people at the Rose Creek family campground early Monday, according to a dispatcher.

Just after 6 a.m., Duke Energy reported more than 4,000 power outages in the Carolinas, including 806 in Mecklenburg and 863 in Cleveland County.

The rain added to a messy commute in uptown Charlotte.

Police were warning drivers away from a fallen tree on St. Julien Street near Independence Boulevard. And officers were trying to clear up at least three wrecks in the center city. One was at Church Street and 11th street, near an exit from the Brookshire Freeway to uptown. A wreck was also reported on the ramp from Independence Boulevard to the Brookshire Freeway and at East 5th Street and Park Drive.

The rain is expected to let up late in the morning. An isolated thunderstorm is possible Monday afternoon. Temperatures will remain cooler than normal in the low to mid-60s with gusty winds.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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