Thunderstorms move in again; flooding, downed trees possible

August 3, 2018

The WRAL Airport Cam overlooks the new Terminal 2 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Several counties in central North Carolina, including Wake, Chatham, Harnett, Johnston and Lee, were under a flood advisory Friday afternoon as thunderstorms again moved in from the south and west.

“Localized flooding is possible,” said WRAL meteorologist Aimee Wilmoth. “Also, winds will gust at up to 40 mph. Watch out for downed trees.”

Two of four westbound lanes were closed on Interstate 40 at Exit 287 (N Harrison Ave) in Raleigh as rain pounded the City of Oaks during the Friday afternoon commute..

The WRAL weather forecast calls for an additional 1 to 3 inches of precipitation across the Triangle.

“It’s not going to take much rain to really cause some flooding because we are so saturated,” Wilmoth said. “Expect periods of heavy rain.”

Gardner said over the past seven days up to 7 inches inches of rain has fallen. During the overnight hours into Friday morning, there was lightning, thunder and more precipitation.

On Thursday, heavy rain was blamed for flight delays at Raleigh-Durham International Airport along with downed trees and other problems.

In Durham, the roof of Roots Bistro and Bar, located at 4810 Hope Valley Road, collapsed after a strong storm pounded the area.

On Friday, One Fitness Training reopened for business after having to close early the day before when two inches of rain flooded the space.

“We got all the water out and now we have to dry and wash all the tiles,” said one of the owners.

In Vance County, a storage barn in the 6800 block of N.C. Highway 39 caught fire and traffic was blocked from the road as firefighters worked to put it out.

In Apex, several trees fell across Olive Chapel Road Thursday as a result of strong winds.

The seven days of muggy conditions and showers should ease up a bit for the weekend, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

“The truly noticeable change this weekend is it will be warmer,” she said.

After a week where overcast skies held temperatures in the low-80s, Saturday and Sunday will push toward the 90-degree mark. There is a 30 percent chance for afternoon storms Saturday.

“It should remain cloudy to mostly cloudy through lunchtime Saturday,” Wilmoth said. “During the afternoon and few showers and storms are going to develop, but not to the scale which we saw on Thursday and Friday. These will die off into the evening.”

Sunday’s forecast is only for partly cloudy conditions but no rain.

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