NC Weather: Search underway after at least 30 unaccounted for in NC counties after historic flooding

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The final storm bands of Fred are pushing through central North Carolina dumping heavy rain and flashing the sky with lightning.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the center of Tropical Depression Fred was located in West Virginia on Wednesday morning. However, the final outer bands of the storm remain in North Carolina.

Fred’s storms stretch all the way from Robeson County to Person County. The storms are pushing through the area quickly.

There will likely be a break in the rain and storms from 9 a.m. until early afternoon. Then storms will happen again from the early afternoon into the evening commute.

Yesterday, Fred spawned several apparent tornadoes in Georgia and dumped heavy rains into the Appalachian mountains, specifically Haywood and Transylvania counties, where emergency officials confirmed at least 30 people remain unaccounted for. It’s on a path that could cause flash floods into upstate New York.

Gov. Cooper says 250 public safety personnel are conducting rescue missions by boat and aircraft. In total, 98 people were rescued overnight.

Thousands were without power in the Florida Panhandle, where it came ashore as a tropical storm on Monday afternoon. The National Weather Service spotted three likely twisters, and said severe thunderstorms could unleash mudslides in mountainous areas of Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.

One death was reported with Fred – a Las Vegas man whose car hydroplaned near Panama City, Florida, Monday night and overturned into a water-filled ditch, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Clay Chaney, a meteorologist with National Weather Service, said a local fire chief in North Carolina told the agency a tornado was on the ground in northern Iredell County early Tuesday afternoon. The weather service was also looking into reports of a tornado hitting Alexander County. As many as 14 possible tornadoes were reported across Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, according to the weather service.
One of the region’s major attractions, Grandfather Mountain State Park, closed on Monday. The North Carolina state park’s website said “trails are flooded and the water at stream crossings (is) dangerously high.”

Grace & Henri

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Grace has been upgraded to hurricane status and is the second hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic season.
Grace is expected to strengthen before landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula on Thursday morning. The storm is expected to move inland over Mexico Friday night into Saturday morning.

Grace lashed earthquake-damaged Haiti as a tropical depression on Monday, dumping up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain that pelted people huddling under improvised shelters in the aftermath of Saturday’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake, now blamed for more than 1,400 deaths.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico from Cancun to Punta Herrero, including Cozumel.

Tropical Storm Henri, meanwhile, was about 160 miles (260 kilometers) south-southwest of Bermuda. The small tropical cyclone had 65 mph (100 kph) winds and was expected to circle widely around the island, the hurricane center said.

Copyright © 2021 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.