Gov. Cooper declares state of emergency as flooding threat continues

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Three people were killed at a campground in Hiddenite, and a child died in a creek in Wake County.

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina is under a state of emergency after a day of deadly flash flooding, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Friday. 

Eta’s tropical rain drenched the state on Thursday, and the flooding threat continues for central North Carolina and along rivers. 

Three people were killed at a flooded campground in Hiddenite. A state search crew is also searching for two people, including a baby, who went missing from the same campground in Alexander County. In Wake County, a child drowned in a creek. 

The State Highway Patrol also reported several deaths from weather-related accidents or crashes in Iredell, Alexander, Rockingham and Person counties.

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“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.”

Alexander, Burke, Catawba, Iredell and Yadkin counties have declared their own states of emergency. Damage assessments will be done in the coming days to determine if state or federal funds can be allocated to these areas, according to Cooper’s office. 

The National Weather Service estimates more than nine inches of rain fell in Rocky Mount and Harrisburg. Many other areas saw between 4-9 inches. 

As of Friday morning, the NC Department of Transportation reported more than 430 state-maintained roads were closed due to damage or flooding. 

State officials said while many rivers to the west are receding, rivers in 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.

State officials are urging people to avoid traveling through flooded roads and never go around barricades.