Storms push through central North Carolina, bringing rain and gusty wind for many

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Saturday, January 13, 2024
Heavy rains move into areas across North Carolina
Heavy rains move into areas across North CarolinaSevere storms moved through Cumberland County bringing strong winds and heavy downpours.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Steady and sometimes heavy rain pushed through central North Carolina on Friday afternoon and evening.

Fears of a second major weather event this week eased Friday afternoon when the National Weather Service moved the level 2 risk down to a level 1 (out of 5) risk for severe storms.

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This system also moved quickly, meaning a relatively short window of opportunity for severe storms.

Warmer and more humid air was slow to move into the Triangle as of mid-afternoon, but that changed quickly Friday evening. The rain started up in earnest around dinner time -- and the main line of storms with the highest chance for possible severe weather and stronger thunderstorms were between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m. mostly from the Triangle on south and east.

Level 1 risk | Heavy rains move into areas across North Carolina (1 of 7)

The system was expected to dump between .25 and .50 inches of rain on Friday. Wind gusts outside of any developing severe storms were expected at 30-45 mph.

"North Carolinians should stay alert and informed as storms continue to impact our state," said Gov. Roy Cooper. "It is critical for people to pay attention to local officials and forecasts and have supplies ready in case of an emergency."

Cooper said emergency crews were on standby.

"Following the statewide impacts from Tuesday's weather, the State Emergency Response Team has been placed at an enhanced watch to ensure we are ready to quickly respond to any needs from our counties as they continue the recovery process from Tuesday," said Emergency Management Director Will Ray. "With saturated soil from the recent rainfall and more wind on the way, we could see power outages again. The State Emergency Response Team remains in contact with our energy partners to assist in expedient restoration of power."

Power outages in northern Wake County

The storm and windy conditions caused many people across the region to experience power outrages Friday evening. Around 7 p.m., 1,000 people were without power in northern Wake County, according to Duke Energy's website. By 11:30 p.m., virtually all those customers had their power restored.

ABC11 spoke with Chris Shepherd at a neighborhood supermarket. The power went out when he was volunteering at Saving Grace Animal Shelter.

"It flickered out and a couple of times, went dark, and then the generator kicked on," said Shepherd.

At Six Forks Road and Highway 98, law enforcement helped control the flow of traffic. With dark roads and low visibility, Shepherd said he was ready to be inside for the night.

"I'll just grab some dinner, go home, take the dogs out, and hunker down in this spot," said Shepherd. "Stay out of this rain."

Flooding concerns in Durham

In Durham, the field in Forest Hills Park that houses the disc golf course was under water, something that happens quite frequently here even in smaller storms.

The disc golf course will likely be waterlogged all weekend.

Over on Holloway Street in Durham near Ganyard Farm, a low point in the road took on a serious amount of water. Cars drove through that high water to go toward Wake Forest.

On Glover Road in east Durham, a tree came crashing down, closing the roadway near Angier Avenue.

A Durham County sheriff's cruiser blocked the way to ensure no one would drive through.

Braving the rain in Pittsboro

Plenty of cars and people braved the conditions to head to downtown Pittsboro.

"It started on my way across the street and flooded my shoe, and so, sitting here with a soaked sock, and a mesh shoe doesn't go well in the rain, so...," said Michael Kalna.

Kalna spoke with ABC11 as he made his way out of a coworking space, determined to enjoy the rest of the night.

"Doing a little bit of work and meeting the family for some pizza and a couple of cold beers," Kalna said.

Cumberland County sees heavy rain, little flooding

Rain intensified about 8 p.m. in Cumberland County, making for tough driving conditions.

The storm system did not appear to cause major flooding issues.

No significant power outages were seen in Fayetteville. There was a power outage in the Sanford area that affected about 500 customers.

Cumberland County Emergency Management beefed up staffing just in case.

Look ahead to the weekend

The weekend is shaping up to be quite sunny. However, winter temperatures will remain with highs in the low 50s and lows around freezing.

Saturday will be bright and windy with lots of sunshine and temperatures in the low 50s. The wind will hang around on Sunday and again it should be sunny and in the 50s.

Another system is forecast to move through Monday and Tuesday bringing the chance for more rain.

Then, some of the coldest air of the season will push into central North Carolina. Tuesday night could dip down to 20 degrees with highs Wednesday not getting out of the 30s.

ABC11's Josh Chapin, Bianca Holman and Monique John contributed.