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Storms drop torrential rain in Charlotte

Heavy thunderstorms rumbled through the Charlotte area Saturday night, dropping torrential rainfall and causing flooding across parts of York County.

The National Weather Service said additional showers and thunderstorms over eastern Alabama and northern Georgia will push into the Charlotte region Sunday.

Flash flood warnings were in effect until late Saturday night for Mecklenburg and parts of surrounding counties. More rain fell in two hours Saturday night in Charlotte than had fallen all month.

Storms knocked out power to 6,100 Duke Energy customers in Mecklenburg County, including about 2,900 in south Charlotte and 1,700 in Matthews.

The rainfall was very heavy to the south of Charlotte.

Authorities in York County reported between 4 and 6 inches of rain in a four-hour period Saturday evening, especially in the eastern part of the county.

Rock Hill Police reported flooding across the city. One motorist had to be rescued from a vehicle in high water about 8:30 p.m. on Dave Lyle Boulevard near Interstate 77, police said.

Automated gauges showed 3.5 inches of rain fell between 7 and 10 p.m. at Elon Homes, near Ballantyne. There were measurements of more than 2 inches nearby at McKee Road Elementary School and St. Matthew Catholic Church. Across the city of Charlotte, most areas received between 1 and 1.5 inches.

National Weather Service radar showed additional storms forming in South Carolina and moving into the same areas hit by earlier heavy rain.

Forecasters expect showers and storms to continue across the Charlotte region into the late-night hours. The rain is badly needed, as Charlotte is nearly 5 inches below average for precipitation since March 1.

The showers and storms are forming along and south of a cold front that has been stationary much of Saturday in an east-to-west line across North Carolina. South of the front, temperatures climbed into the upper 70s in Charlotte, Gastonia, Monroe, Lancaster and Rock Hill.

It was a different story north of the front, where places like Salisbury, Statesville and Hickory were stuck in the low and mid 60s all day.

The National Weather Service says it expects the front to push northward Saturday evening and night as a warm front. That will allow showers and thunderstorms to push north into the I-40 corridor late Saturday night.

But the departure of the front won’t end Charlotte’s rain chances for the weekend

.Another cold front, this one approaching from the west, is expected to trigger more showers and thunderstorms Sunday across the region. Those storms are forecast to end by daybreak Monday.

Additional showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday, before drier and cooler weather moves in. After nearly two weeks of above-average temperatures, the high Friday in Charlotte might struggle to hit 70 degrees.

A warm-up is expected next Saturday and Sunday. Dry weather is forecast throughout the four days of competition, Thursday through next Sunday, in the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament in Charlotte.

Staff Writer Joe Marusak contributed.

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