Severe thunderstorms moved across the Charlotte region on Saturday, causing heavy rains and winds and even a brief tornado warning in one county.
A tornado warning expired at 12:30 p.m. for northeastern Cabarrus County. Earlier, the weather service said its radar had picked up a storm capable of producing a tornado near the Mount Pleasant area. But the storm has since moved out of Cabarrus, though other counties to the east of the region remain until a tornado watch through the afternoon.
There were scattered reports of wind damage -- mostly downed trees and some power lines -- between 11 a.m. and noon in Gaston, York and Union counties.
The biggest problem for the remainder of Saturday afternoon could be the heavy rain.
Four counties, including Mecklenburg and Cabarrus, are under a flash flood warning until 4 p.m. Saturday. Also covered under the warning are areas in north-central Union County and the northeastern part of York County.
At 1:30 p.m., radar showed a large area of heavy rain to the west and southwest of Charlotte. That rain was moving east-northeast and will affect the immediate Charlotte area over the next few hours. Rain could fall at rates of a half-inch to an inch per hour.
Automated gauges show most creeks and streams in the Charlotte region are at or near full levels early Saturday afternoon.
At 12:30 p.m., Duke Energy was reporting about 5,500 outages in the Carolinas, including more than 3,000 in Mecklenburg County.
Earlier Saturday, rainfall rates of up to 3/4 of an inch per hour were reported around 5 a.m. in storms south of Spartanburg.
The good news is that the stormy weather is predicted to end this evening, followed by overnight clearing.
That will set the stage for beautiful conditions Sunday. Sunny skies and afternoon high temperatures in the middle and upper 50s are in the forecast.
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