Rain begins to lessen in Triangle; Tornado Watch remains in effect for parts of central NC

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The rainy conditions we’ve seen across the Triangle on Thursday were lessening into the night along with the threat for possible tornadoes.

Parts of Central North Carolina remained under a Tornado Watch until 11 p.m. on Thursday. Tornado watches were canceled for Cumberland and Hoke counties as of 8 p.m. They remained in effect for Duplin, Lenoir, Sampson and Wayne counties until 11 p.m.

WRAL meteorologist Kat Campbell said the highest tornado potential through the early evening was for areas in Sampson County, Wayne County and southern Johnston County.

“There is still a chance of a tornado, across the southeastern part of our viewing area, the highest risk of that this evening will be for the southern part of Sampson County and potentially Wayne County as well,” Campbell said during the 7 p.m. WRAL News.

Earlier Thursday afternoon, there was a Tornado Warning issued for parts of South Carolina, near the Florence area. Another warning was issued for Pamlico County on the coast. Both have since been canceled.

WRAL Severe Weather

Much of the state was also under a flash flood watch and a Level 2 risk for severe storms on Thursday and into Friday evening.

Areas around central North Carolina have received an abundance of rain but no threats of flooding have been seen through late Thursday evening. Places like Lake Gaston (2.79 inches of rain in the past 24 hours), Pinehurst (2.5 inches) and Warrenton (2.72) have registered the most amounts of rain in the central N.C. region.

Remnants from Sally were bringing us excessive rainfall and flooding. If you are driving on Thursday evening, be aware of flooded roads, which can be deadly. Do not try to drive through standing water or washed out roads.

The Triangle is under a Flash Flood Watch through Friday.

Earlier this month, two young children riding in their mother’s car in Smithfield died when the car was swept away in floodwaters. Eight inches of rain was reported in the area. Their bodies were found days later in a shallow creek near the Neuse River.

Sally has been downgraded to a tropical depression. The storm made landfall in Alabama at around 6 a.m. on Wednesday as a Category 2 storm. The remains of Sally will cause a remnant low south of North Carolina.

We are expecting 3 to 6 inches of rain in the state for Thursday and Friday.

Heavy rains and saturated ground trees could come down and power outages are possible on Thursday and Friday. Wind gusts are expected to pick up to 20 to 30 mph, which could also knock over trees.

Flooding risk

WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said the number one risk for Thursday is flooding.

The Triangle is expecting 2 to 5 inches in the next two days from these storms.

“There are going to be places that don’t see flooding and there are going to be places that do,” said Gardner.

Neuse River from the air

Minor river flooding is also forecast for several area rivers.

City of Raleigh officials said that flooding is possible on the Capital Area Greenway System. Officials said to not attempt to cross flood waters covering any part of the Greenway.

Slowdown if you come across asphalt, concrete or wooden bridges that are flooded.

The flash flood watch expires at 11 a.m. on Friday.

Flood driving safety tips

Level 2 risk for severe weather

Level 2 risk for severe storms

The highest risk for severe weather is under the center of circulation.

Storms rolling in on Thursday could cause damaging wind gusts from faster moving bands of rain and tropical downbursts. There is also the chance of a weak tornado or two. The chance for tornados is low, according to WRAL meteorologist Zach Maloch.

Thunderstorms should move out of our area by Friday night.

NC prepares for storms

Wake County’s free coronavirus testing site at the Sunnybrook parking deck will close at noon on Thursday ahead of storms.

Anyone who has a scheduled appointment can come back at any time on Friday to get tested for the coronavirus.

Governor Roy Cooper will talk about the soaking rain and flooding risks North Carolina is facing in a press conference on Thursday at 3 p.m.

The state already had national guardsmen and swift water rescue teams on standby.

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