Flash Floods Ravage North Carolina; 8 Dead, Toddler Still Missing

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
November 13, 2020Weathershare
Flash Floods Ravage North Carolina; 8 Dead, Toddler Still Missing
A vehicle is submerged in floodwater on Freedom Drive in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 12, 2020. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP)

Deadly flash floods that swept through multiple parts of North Carolina have left at least eight people dead and one toddler missing, authorities said.

Emergency responders in Alexander County confirmed in a news release that five bodies were recovered in the county, with at least four at a family campground near the South Yadkin River.

Fast-rising floodwaters overtook the Hiddenite Family Campground on Thursday, which saw between 7 to 10 inches of rain overnight, officials said. As of Friday morning, a 1-year-old child is still missing.

Authorities said high water prevented the search team from opening camper doors which significantly increased the difficulty of the search. Rescue teams helped to evacuate more than 30 people from the campground on Thursday.

A fourth person that was found dead in the county was killed while inside his car when floodwaters destroyed a bridge, according to the release.

In addition to the deadly floods that hit Alexander County, two more people were killed due to flash floods in Iredell County, authorities said. The Wake County Sheriff’s Office said an 11-year-old child drowned in Rolesville.

Emergency personnel ended the search for missing people around 6 p.m. on Thursday and resumed the search at 8 a.m. on Friday, according to Alexander County officials.

Alexander County was among five counties in North Carolina that declared a state of emergency on Thursday, according to the state’s deputy director of emergency management.

“It’s just an unfortunate weather thing that happened so quickly,” Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman said.

Charlotte Fire water rescue stand at the ready on West Blvd. during a heavy rain in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 12, 2020. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP)

Several videos of the floods were posted on social media, showing areas covered in waist-deep water or even higher outside some structures.

In Alexander County, at least four bridges and 50 roadways were breached by floodwaters. One video shared on Twitter shows a reporter from Fox Charlotte live on air when a bridge collapsed in front of her.

“This is incredibly scary,” she is heard shouting. “Just right here live on TV, we saw the road collapse, that same road that we were just standing on seconds ago, so thank God that we were backing up,” she continued.

Charlotte Fire Department officials shared a video on Twitter showing heavy flooding at Charlotte Corvian Community School. Rescuers evacuated 143 students after the area became inundated, officials said, nobody got injured, they added.

Electric utility Duke Energy said about 3,100 customers were without electricity across North Carolina as of Thursday afternoon.

North Carolina has been hit by the same weather system as Tropical Storm Eta, with some areas receiving about 10 inches of rain.

Eta drenched Florida’s west coast on Thursday after making landfall north of Tampa Bay with 50 mile-per-hour winds, but the system weakened slightly as it moved across the northeastern part of the state and into the Atlantic.

Reuters contributed to this report.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.