Thursday rains expected to cause minor weekend flooding

December 20, 2018

WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Thursday will bring heavy rains and the possibility of severe storms to the Pee Dee as a strong low pressure system develops over the Deep South.

“This intensifying storm system will bring a chance of heavy rain to the area and possible severe thunderstorms to the eastern portion of our area,” Reid Hawkins, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, N.C., said in a briefing on the storm system.

“Heavy rain is expected with minor flooding possible as the ground continues to be saturated,” Hawkins wrote in the briefing.

“Scattered thunderstorms could produce wind damage and an isolated tornado, especially closer to the coast,” according to the briefing.

In the Pee Dee the rain itself will be the biggest threat.

The bulk of the Pee Dee is forecast to receive more than an inch of rain Thursday on top of the 1.64 inches of rain that fell on Florence over the weekend. Those weekend rains pushed Black Creek and Lynches River close to moderate flood stage and did push the Great Pee Dee River into moderate flood stage.

Howe Springs firefighters last week conducted a water rescue on the Great Pee Dee and, Saturday night, rescued a motorist who became trapped by high water.

Thursday’s rains are forecast to push Black Creek back up to 13.3 feet by Saturday night and Lynches River up to 15.5 feet over night Friday into Saturday.

The Great Pee Dee is forecast to continue to rise throughout the week and to crest Friday at 24.6 feet -- and remain there into next week.

Dry weather returns early next week with daytime highs in the 50s and overnight lows in the mid to upper 30s. Christmas is forecast to be mostly sunny with a high of 58 degrees.

Update hourly