Updated at 7:15 a.m. Monday
The rain and severe weather that blanketed the Charlotte area over the weekend could slow down Monday morning’s commute — but there might be fewer motorists on the road, with schools and some major employers closed. .
As tropical depression Florence pounded the Carolinas, spreading soaking rains, flooding and gusty winds across a wide swath of both states, many people stayed off the roads, amid warnings about water-covered streets, fallen trees and other dangers.
And many of those hazards remain Monday morning. Park Road at Park Road South is closed in both directions Monday morning due to a power line being down, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said in a tweet shortly after 5 a.m. They expect the closure to impact rush hour traffic.
While the rain has begun to taper off, motorists should still expect a sopping-wet commute, said Doug Outlaw, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., which covers the Charlotte region. That could mean a slower than normal trek for thousands of office workers and others returning to work in uptown Charlotte.
He said flooding in Monroe and some parts of Union County was so bad Sunday that it made driving “a life-threatening situation.”
Outlaw said motorists would not likely start to see significant relief until Tuesday or Wednesday when there is no rain in the forecast.
“By the middle of week, it is going to be quite nice,” he said.
The city of Charlotte asked residents to be careful Monday.
“Let’s take it a little slower today as we get back to it,” officials said in a tweet. “Stay safe.”
Butmotorists could face less traffic than usual.
City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County offices are closed Monday, as are Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, due to the weather. Daycares linked to the CMS schedule are also closed.
Many stores and restaurants in and around uptown remained open over the weekend, though some had reduced hours.
A spokesman for Duke Energy, which is headquartered in an office tower uptown, said the company planned to have normal operating hours Monday. Outside Charlotte, he said, local leaders will assess employees’ ability to get to work.
Observer staff writer Ely Portillo contributed