Most of the rain has passed, but flooding could worsen


Thunderstorms swept through the Triangle on Monday afternoon, leaving power outages and fallen trees in its wake.

Flash flooding is possible for much of the Triangle and surrounding towns throughout the evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Here are the updates of the weather and its consequences.

Update 6:30 p.m.

A National Weather Service advisory has expired without renewal, but a marginal risk of severe thunderstorms will continue overnight.

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Derrick Parker saws off tree branches from the top of a car following heavy storms Monday, May 23, 2022 in Durham, N.C. Kaitlin McKeown [email protected]

“Damaging gusts of wind are the main danger,” said the NWS reported. “An isolated tornado will be possible along the low pressure track later this evening.”

The possibility of isolated flash flooding will persist. Drivers should be careful when crossing rainy roads. Never attempt to navigate in flooded areas, recommends the NWS. It’s always best to turn around.

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Nannie Smith, center, and her son, Terry Smith, walk with their neighbor, Vanessa Thornburg, after a tree fell on their home during heavy storms Monday, May 23, 2022, in Durham, N.C. Kaitlin McKeown [email protected]

Update 5:54 p.m.

Approximately 20,000 Duke Energy customers are powerless throughout the Greater Triangle region, according to the company. Nearly 8,000 are in Durham. Raleigh and Cary have several hundred outages.

Update 5:30 p.m.

Lightning struck a tree on Bon Aire Avenue in Durham, “exploding” into a nearby house, according to ABC 11, news gathering partner The News & Observer. It is unclear whether bystanders were injured.

Update 5:20 p.m.

The storm uprooted a large Chapel Hill tree, which collapsed into a residence at 18 Hamilton Road. No injuries were reported, according to the Chapel Hill Fire Department.

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A large tree felled by inclement weather on Monday May 23, 2022 caused significant damage to this residence located at 18 Hamilton Road in Chapel Hill. No injuries were reported. Chapel Hill Fire Department

Update: 5:11 p.m.

The heaviest rains are over, but dangerous conditions will persist.

“Flash floods are underway or expected to start shortly,” the NWS said.

Another half inch to 1 inch of rain is still possible in the Eastern Piedmont region. Standing water will continue to accumulate, threatening roads and areas near streams and streams.

Motorists should be on their guard to avoid flooded streets.

“Turn around,” said the NWS, “don’t drown when you encounter flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

Update: 4:40 p.m.

The NWS has extended its severe weather warning to much of North Carolina’s Piedmont region.

Flash flooding is possible in the following areas: East Chatham County, South East Durham County, North East Harnett County, North West Johnston County, North East Lee County and all of Wake County.

The advisory will remain in effect until at least 6:30 p.m.

Around 4 p.m., a “severe thunderstorm” was identified near Cary, the NWS said. Its course was northeast at 40 mph.

Wind gusts of up to 60 mph have been reported. At such speeds, flying projectiles can inflict significant damage to structures and people. Radar reports suggest the possibility of hail.

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A person walks past a fallen tree near the intersection of East Ellerbee Street and Cascadilla Street following heavy storms Monday, May 23, 2022 in Durham, N.C. Kaitlin McKeown [email protected]

At 4:23 a.m., NWS reported that between 1 and 2 inches of rain had fallen on the Triangle. Another 1-2 inches is expected before the weather system clears.

Such heavy rains over a short period of time can produce “life-threatening flash floods”, warns the NWS. Streams and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses are particularly susceptible.

The following locations should expect flash flooding, NWS said: Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Smithfield, Wake Forest, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Clayton, Zebulon, Angier, RDU International, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Knightdale , Wendell, Rolesville, Lake Wheeler, Lake Benson and William B. Umstead State Park.

This story will be updated.

This story was originally published May 23, 2022 4:39 p.m.

Lars Dolder is a business reporter at The News & Observer. It covers retail, technology and innovation.

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