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N.C. Floods Cause Evacuations, Traffic Accidents

August 13, 1996

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Two days of rains flooded low-lying areas of North Carolina, causing the evacuation of a nursing home and a campsite, and several traffic accidents and road closures.

Authorities were also searching for two teen-age hikers who may have been stranded in Linville Gorge in Burke County because of the rising water, WSOC-TV in Charlotte reported.

The heavy rain also led to minor flooding in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia, said National Weather Service meteorologist Gerald Miles.

``We’re getting it from all sides. Rain is blowing in from the Gulf and the Atlantic,″ said Jeff Zoltowski at the National Weather Service station in Greer, S.C. ``It’s a very unusual situation for this time of year.″

Storms dumped between 4 1/2 and 7 inches of rain throughout North Carolina from Sunday night through Monday afternoon, meteorologists reported.

Flooded roads led authorities to evacuate the Glenstone Nursing Home in Boone and about 100 people from a campground in Burke County.

The nasty weather also contributed to several traffic accidents, including a truck accident in Surry County that left the truck’s load of cleaning products spilled across the road. The driver was treated for minor injuries.

In another accident, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said a tractor-trailer swerved to avoid hitting two cars that had been in an accident, hit a guardrail and fell off the bridge. The driver was hospitalized in stable condition, police said.

In Wilkes County, a bus carrying 10 elementary school students skidded into a roadside ditch, but no one was hurt.

In Caldwell County, some residents had been evacuated from their homes but others were trapped because rising streams had cut them off from roads.

Other areas reported minor power outages and rock slides.

School officials in three counties also sent students home early on their first day of classes Monday, officials said.

Light rain was expected to continue over most of the state tonight and early Wednesday, but North Carolina’s rivers were not full and additional flooding problems were not in the forecast, according to the National Weather Service.

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