RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Heavy rains swamped North Carolina on Wednesday, swelling creeks and rivers and causing traffic headaches across the Triangle with some evacuations in Chatham County and Chapel Hill and flooded roads in Raleigh.
As a Flood Watch continues until 7 a.m. Thursday, there was flooding Wednesday afternoon in Chapel Hill, where the city is suggesting that some residents leave their homes. Some roads in Chapel Hill are also closed from flooding, the city said.
Chapel Hill residents are being voluntarily evacuated from the Camelot Village Apartments at 130 S. Estes Drive by teams from the Chapel Hill Fire Department. By 3:30 p.m. at least 34 people were evacuated from Camelot and Brookwood apartments — some by jumping a ride on a large truck supplied by the city of Chapel Hill.
Just after 5 p.m., the town was allowing some residents to go back, but no one was allowed to drive back into the area, which is on South Estes Road.
In Chatham County, there were several home evacuations Wednesday near Jeremiah Drive, where Jordan Lake is 13 feet higher than normal and is two feet over the road, the National Weather Service reported. Chatham County officials said that the Red Cross is on the scene and is providing shelter for the evacuees.
Homeowners were using boats to get through the water. The fire chief says that there are 16 homes in the area, where about 25 to 30 people live.
In Durham, Garrett Road was blocked by water that was overflowing from a blocked culvert. Some cars were trying to drive through the area.
Just after 4 p.m. there were reports of roads flooded in downtown Raleigh and several creeks over their banks along NC 50.
Collins Creek in White Cross in Orange County overflowed, with one WNCN viewer sharing images of the water pouring out across a road.
Also in Orange County, there have been flooding evacuations in the areas of Old Greensboro Road and the White Cross area in southern Orange County. The Orange County Public Library Carrboro branch at McDougle has been closed because of street flooding.
Chapel Hill Road closures include Estes Drive at Willow Drive (Camelot Village), Estes from Library to Franklin, Cleland at 15-501, Fordham at Ephesus Church, Brookview Drive at Kenmore Road, and Umstead from Pritchard Ave Ext to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Areas of Chapel Hill that Flood during periods of extended and/or extensive heavy rain:
- S. Estes Drive in the vicinity of Willow Drive
- Camelot Village Apartments on S. Estes Drive
- Brookwood Community on S. Estes Drive
- South Estes public housing neighborhood on Estes Drive Extension near University Place
- Bolin Creek out of its banks
- Cleland Road between Kendall Drive and Hayes Road
- Franklin Street at Mellette Street
- E. Franklin Street at Park Place
Heavy rains around lunch time made for slow commutes around Durham as driving rains pounded windshields.
But one local girl made the most of it – going out with only a diaper on and joyfully playing in the mud with a toy lawnmower.
In western North Carolina, conditions were just as miserable. The Catawba River flooded in some parts, and areas of Kings Mountain and Gastonia were flooded with brown, dirty water.
As always, drivers were urged to be careful and to not try to drive through standing water.