Thousands without power as rain eases on Sunday

Duke Energy works to restore power in Dilworth

Duke Energy works to restore power after a large tree fell on power lines on Euclid Ave. in Dilworth
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Duke Energy works to restore power after a large tree fell on power lines on Euclid Ave. in Dilworth

Duke Energy crews were working to restore power to nearly 5,000 customers in and around Charlotte on Sunday evening after wind and rain over the weekend downed trees, caused scattered flooding and made travel more hazardous for motorists throughout the region.

City crews also were working to clear trees and branches from the roads after gusty winds moved through the area. That effort could drag into the week on secondary roads.

Nearly a half-foot of rain fell in some parts of the area, sending dozens of creeks and streams out of their banks and closing roads in several counties.

No injuries have been reported in the Charlotte region, but 43 collisions and other traffic incidents made the roads in Mecklenburg County messier by midnight Saturday. Many of those incidents were likely weather-related, according to Medic.

The worst of the weather seemed to have passed by Sunday night. Monday’s high should reach about 64, with a low of about 54. The chance for showers will be about 50 percent during the day, dropping to 30 percent through the night.

The sun is expected to break through the clouds on Tuesday, with a high of about 71 and a low of 53.

The remainder of the week should be mostly to partly sunny, with highs in the mid-70s and lows in the mid- to high 50s.

But as the rain eased, the force of the wind and rain becomes more visible. A tree fell on North Trade Street in Matthews and pulled down several power lines during its descent. No injuries were reported.

Businesses were evacuated as a precaution and an estimated 1,345 residents were without power, according to the Matthews Police Department.

Traffic signals were reported out from Sam Newell Road and Pineville-Matthews Road to North Trade and Fullwood Road on Sunday morning.

About 140 calls for trees and limbs blocking roads were reported to the city’s Landscape Management department for clearing. Probably half of those calls came between midnight Friday and midday Saturday, said Tim Porter, interim city arborist.

“Yesterday we received so many (calls) in a short period of time, there were streets blocked probably for hours,” Porter said.

Crews cleared trees or branches from Beatties Ford Road at Cindy Lane, University Boulevard at Interstate 485, Providence Road in the Eastover area. Clearing on secondary roads will continue this week, with priority going to emergencies, Porter said.

“We’re focusing on clearing roads for emergency vehicles,” he said.

Gusts of wind knocked over a decades-old live oak tree, which landed on the roof of a bungalow on Commonwealth Avenue. The owner, Michael Gershowitz, said he finished renovating the house about two years ago and put more than $100,000 into it.

“The tree was one of the reasons I bought the house,” Gershowitz said.

The heavy rain triggered flash flooding that closed dozens of roads Saturday in Anson, Stanly and Union counties.

Authorities reported about six roads remained closed Sunday in Anson County, but flooding had subsided in Stanly and Union counties. The N.C. Department of Transportation said it hopes all roads will be open again by Monday.

At the Outer Banks, flooding has closed N.C. 12 on Ocracoke Island from the Pony Pen to the Hatteras Ferry terminal. There were reports of about 2 feet of water on the road. Hatteras-to-Ocracoke ferry service has been suspended until the road reopens, but there has been no word on when that might happen.

The area of heavy rain slipped northward a bit Sunday and spread into extreme southeastern North Carolina, setting off flash flooding and forcing emergency personnel to make a number of water rescues.

Nearly 3 inches of rain fell in Wilmington during a three-hour period Sunday afternoon, and the National Weather Service said up to 5 inches was possible in some areas.

Authorities in Brunswick, Columbus and New Hanover counties issued advisory Sunday afternoon, warning residents to remain in their homes and stay off the roads.

Rail officials suspended Amtrak service in North Carolina on Saturday due to flooding.

Joe Marusak contributed

Karen Sullivan: 704-358-5532, @Sullivan_kms

Remaining power outages

Mecklenburg: 3,700

Gaston: 1,041

Union: 114

York: 6

Source: Duke Power as of 5 p.m. Sunday

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