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Photos: Severe flooding prompts states of emergency, leaves 3 dead in North Carolina

By Adriana Navarro, AccuWeather staff writer
By Amanda Schmidt, AccuWeather staff writer
June 10, 2019, 3:32:20 PM EDT

Severe flooding persists as waters continue to rise in the southeastern United States. The flooding forced hundreds from their homes, caused travel disruptions and damaged property early this week.

Western North Carolina is among the regions hit the hardest by the storms. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper held a press conference to address the flooding across the state Monday afternoon.

“Over the weekend, we saw rains that had a serious impact on our state that we will feel for several days,” Cooper said. “Several counties received as much as 12 inches of rain.”

According to Cooper, over 80 swift water rescues have been performed so far. He urged residents to use caution when traveling and never to drive around a barricade or through floodwaters.

“I urge everyone to take warnings seriously,” Cooper said. “Three counties have declared states of emergency.”

North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) has responded to around 4,000 calls for service since the start of the storm, according to NCSHP Colonel Glenn McNeill.

"Stop and think about your safety, that of your passengers and that of those who will have to rescue you if you are trapped in floodwaters," McNeill said at the press conference.

Three people were killed amid the heavy rain near Lincolnton, North Carolina, on Saturday evening. The vehicle they were traveling in slid off the road, hit a tree and overturned into rising creek waters, troopers told WBTV.

(Facebook/Todd Community Preservation Organization)

Vehicles became submerged in floodwaters at Todd Island Park, North Carolina, during the morning of June 9, 2019.

(Facebook/Todd Community Preservation Organization)

Floodwaters nearly engulf the entirety of SUVs at Todd Island Park, North Carolina, during the morning of June 9, 2019.

(Facebook/Todd Community Preservation Organization)

Torrential rainfall inundated parts of North Carolina by the morning of June 9, 2019, including Todd Island Park.

(Facebook/Todd Community Preservation Organization)

Creek levels had risen to nearly the bottom of this bridge at Todd Island Park, North Carolina, by the morning of June 9, 2019.

(Photo/Sarah Wilson)

Heavy rain inundates Daniel Boone Family Campground in Morganton, North Carolina.

(Photo/Sarah Wilson)

Heavy rain inundates Daniel Boone Family Campground in Morganton, North Carolina.

(Photo/Sarah Wilson)

Heavy rain inundates Daniel Boone Family Campground in Morganton, North Carolina.

(Photo/Sarah Wilson)

Heavy rain inundates Daniel Boone Family Campground in Morganton, North Carolina.

(Twitter photo/ Charlotte Fire Department)

Heavy rainfall floods Charlotte, North Carolina. The Charlotte Fire Department assisted with water rescues, with a total of 34 occupants as of Monday morning.

On Sunday, Mayor Lee E. Moritz, Jr., declared a state of emergency for the city of Conover, North Carolina, along with Catawba County, due to the heavy rain and flooding in the area. The city of Hickory, North Carolina, made a similar declaration.

A few locations in western North Carolina have recorded more than a foot of rain in the past three days. This includes 13.64 inches near Brookford and 13.57 inches east of Boone, North Carolina.

Floodwaters overwhelmed rivers near Todd, North Carolina, nearly submerging nearby cars at a park.

To the south, Hickory, North Carolina, recorded two consecutive days with rainfall totals over 3 inches on Friday and Saturday. Nearly 2 inches of additional rainfall fell in Hickory on Sunday, and more rain will add to the storm total through Monday night.

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At the nearby Lookout Shoals Dam, the Catawba River soared to the second-highest stage on record at 108.19 feet on Sunday morning. The all-time record is 114.40 feet from Aug. 30, 1940.

Officials are closely monitoring the amount of water streaming down the Catawba River basin, which is causing significant rises along Mountain Island Lake, located to the northwest of Charlotte.

There is concern that the lake may rise to levels not seen since May 2013, when the lake crested at 104.02 feet.

Flooding inundated neighborhoods in the Charlotte area on Sunday into Monday. Local news reporters captured homes and cars underwater in the area.

FOX46 Charlotte News Reporter and Anchor Lindsay Clein captured a video of a couple rescued from their home in the Mount Holly area on Monday morning. The couple was brought to drier, safer ground by a rescue crew on a boat as high floodwaters surround their home.

The Charlotte Fire Department assisted with numerous water rescues, a total of 34 occupants as of Monday morning.

"We will continue to monitor the situation as more rain is expected today [Monday]," the Charlotte Fire Department said in a tweet.

Some campus buildings of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, were shut down on Saturday due to the flooding, according to WNCN. Among the damaged buildings were the Bryan Center, which functioned as the student affairs center, and the inside of the Duke University Divinity School and the chapel.

Washed out roads, downed trees and flooding will hinder travel plans in Catawba County and nearby counties early this week. The treacherous travel conditions caused numerous local schools and businesses to either cancel or delay operations on Monday.

In Catawba County, local schools and the community college canceled classes on Monday due to hazardous travel conditions and area flooding.

Floodwaters surround Valle Crucis Elementary in the Watauga Valley, located in Sugar Grove near the Watauga River. The school announced a delayed start as a result of the flooding and poor travel conditions.

Fast-moving water carries large debris along the Catawba River in Mecklenburg and Gaston counties. FOX46 Charlotte shared a video of a boat and part of a dock pinned to a local bridge, these items were likely carried down the river by the rushing water. A hot tub also appeared to be floating down the river.

As the torrential rain came down, water had started rushing into the Bryan Center and had knocked a glass wall out of place, students told CBS 17.

Crews pumped out the water and later put up wood panels to stabilize the inside of the building, according to the news outlet.

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