Gov. Cooper declares state of emergency after floodwaters ravage North Carolina

Gov. Cooper declares state of emergency after floodwaters ravage North Carolina
Heavy rainfall across the WBTV viewing area caused major flooding that led to evacuations, water rescues and school closings throughout Thursday morning.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - Governor Roy Cooper on Friday declared a state of emergency after the remnants of Tropical Storm Eta dumped heavy rainfall across North Carolina.

“This storm has already claimed several lives, and everyone should exercise caution by avoiding flooded roads and areas along swollen creeks and rivers,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Our prayers go out to the families and friends of those who were injured or killed by these devastating floods.”

Three individuals were killed at a flooded campground in Hiddenite. A state search and rescue task force arrived last night in Alexander County to assist in the search for two people who went missing from the same campground. One death has been reported in Wake County, where a child drowned in a creek.

The State Highway Patrol reports several additional fatalities from weather-related collisions or accidents in Iredell, Alexander, Rockingham and Person counties. A Wilmington man was killed in a head-on crash on River Road in Brunswick County Thursday evening.

The flooding also prompted hundreds of road closures throughout the state, including a few interstate shutdowns and bridge washouts. State transportation officials urge people to avoid traveling through flooded roads and never go around barricades. Motorists should continue to be careful as travel could be hazardous through the weekend and into next week.

State officials say flood warnings remain in effect for much of central NC as rivers across western and central NC will crest on Friday or are currently receding, while rivers across eastern North Carolina will continue to rise through the weekend.

Major flooding is forecast along the Neuse River and Contentnea Creek and moderate flooding is forecast along the Cashie, Dan, Cape Fear, Northeast Cape Fear, Lumber, Tar, South Fork Catawba, Yadkin and South Yadkin Rivers.

Local states of emergency have been declared in Alexander, Burke, Catawba, Iredell and Yadkin counties. Damage assessments will be conducted in the coming days to determine if areas qualify for state or federal disaster declarations.

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