Flash flood watch in effect until Sunday night for most of Charlotte viewing area

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A flash flood watch is in effect for most of the Charlotte viewing area until 8 p.m. Sunday.

Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich expects things to ramp back up late Saturday afternoon into the evening with heavy downpours.

“If you’re driving over the next couple of days, please do not drive into standing water,” he said.

Everything is saturated because we saw a lot of rain on Friday, especially in the mountains and foothills, so we could see additional flooding.

Late Saturday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper warned residents to pay attention to the forecast.

“Though the rain may have slowed, the threat is not over,” said Cooper. “I urge everyone to make safety their first priority, particularly in areas where constant rain has fallen the last couple of days.”

Flash flooding was reported north of Charlotte Friday night after nearly a month with no rain.

“If you live in a flood-prone area, make sure you have a way to get warnings,” said Panovich. “Flash flooding is very likely across the northwest Piedmont and Foothills.”

Catawba County Emergency Management tweeted the Hickory area was experiencing flash flooding Friday night.

“DO NOT drive across roads covered in water or that you cannot see the lines,” the tweet read. “Some roads are dangerous with cars taking on water.”

Meteorologist Chris Mulcahy said parts of Catawba and Alexander counties saw 3-6 inches of rain on Friday while parts of Iredell County got 3-5 inches. Mecklenburg County got anywhere from .5 inch to almost 2 inches of rain.

The rain is expected to linger through the beginning of next week with heavy showers and thunderstorms. There’s also the potential for landslides.

Panovich said almost half of North Carolina and nearly 90% of South Carolina have reported dry to moderate drought conditions up to now.

Friday marked 26 days between measurable rainfall in Charlotte, making it the 13th longest dry streak in the city’s history. 

So how much rain are we talking? The mountains could see anywhere up to 9 inches over the next week or so, while the Charlotte area could get anywhere from 3-6 inches.

“This (Saturday) evening and tonight (Saturday night) is probably when we’re going to see the worst rainfall,” Panovich said.