Tropical Storm Andrea is moving up the South Carolina coastal plain Friday morning, spreading a blanket of rain across the Carolinas, but the precipitation has been lighter than expected, lessening the flood threat for Charlotte.
A flash flood watch remains in effect until 6 p.m. Friday, but National Weather Service forecasters have downgraded the amount of rain they expect to fall during the day in the Charlotte region.
The heaviest rain actually fell Thursday evening, causing flooding along a number of creeks and streams in the region.
The one area where flooding is taking place Friday morning is in southern Cabarrus County. The National Weather Service and emergency management officials report Back Creek and the Rocky River have spilled out of their banks in several places. Some street flooding is being reported in that area.
A tropical storm warning remains in effect along the Carolinas coast throughout the day.
Charlottes Center City saw some flooding just before rush hour Thursday. A parking lot at College and Phifer streets, near Interstate 277, was inundated with water that came about halfway up the tires of cars.
Heavy showers well in advance of Andreas main rain bands crossed Charlotte during the mid-afternoon hours. The National Weather Service issued an advisory until 5:30 p.m. for possible street and stream flooding. Meteorologist Harry Gerapetritis said rain was falling at a rate of up to 1 inch an hour in some of the showers.
Andrea-caused tides could create a storm surge of 1 to 2 feet along the coast, forecasters said.
Across the Carolinas, emergency management officials and utility companies prepared for the storms arrival. Andreas impact is expected to be felt well inland, and utility company officials reminded residents that heavy rain can cause power outages due to downed trees and power limbs. That was the case overnight, when an outage affected several hundred customers in Matthews and western Union County.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said that while Andrea isnt expected to be a strong storm, The most important thing you can do is stay informed. We know from experience that these systems can change.
Public Safety Secretary Kieran Shanahan noted that flooding is expected to be the major threat of the storm and he reminded drivers not to try and cross flooded roadways.
The S.C. Emergency Management Division said county emergency managers and state agencies are ready to react to the storm.
Duke Energy spokeswoman Lisa Hoffman said Duke is preparing for the possibility of flooding and high water from Andrea.
As is our normal practice, weve been moving water downstream to position the lakes to receive additional rainfall and runoff, Hoffman said Thursday.
Morganton canceled all adult and youth athletic programs for Thursday night. And the Town of Matthews canceled a Charlotte Symphony pops concert scheduled for Friday evening outdoors.
Steve Lyttle: 704-358-6107.
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