A rainy start to the week closed roads in two counties on Monday night, and weather watchers in the central and eastern part of the state are hoping for a few days to dry out before another round of storms hits late this week.
Monday’s rains alone doubled monthly averages in some small areas, creating traffic disruptions that could stretch into Wednesday and possibly return with additional rain forecast for Thursday through Sunday.
The one-day rain totals for Monday’s storms were about 8.2 inches in Warren County, 6 inches in northwestern Johnston County and 7 inches in northwestern Sampson County.
Near Raleigh, heavy rainfall in the south and eastern parts of Wake County flooded Durham Road, shutting down the Southwest Wake Dialysis clinic for all of Tuesday. The city expected to re-open the road early Wednesday.
“It flooded to where you could not pass it, in less than two hours,” said clinic manager Belinda Johnson. The city has told her a nearby property owner may have impeded a storm water drain, she said.
Meanwhile, three roads near the Johnston County Airport – Smith Road, Swift Creek Road and S.R. 1504 – remained closed late Tuesday due to flooding. Department of Transportation crews planned to assess the potential damage on Wednesday morning.
In hard-hit Warren County, floodwaters washed away a bridge on Airport Road. About a dozen other roads still were closed late Tuesday, slowing traffic around the small town of Warrenton.
“Luckily, the damage in this case (is) an isolated, smaller area,” said DOT spokesman Steve Abbott, acknowledging that the impact on local drivers is still significant.
Parts of the state likely will still be saturated by the time showers arrive on Thursday night or Friday, which could make it easier for floodwaters to rise up again.
“You’ve only had two or three days to dry out,” said Chris Hohmann, chief meteorologist for ABC11. “You’re still more vulnerable to flooding than you would be normally.”
However, that risk depends on how much rain comes and how fast, and how long storms linger. The National Weather Service expects thunderstorms and showers beginning on Thursday night, with the chance of precipitation hovering around 50 percent through the weekend.
That rain, and a blanket of clouds, should bring a significant drop in temperatures. Wednesday and Thursday should be bright and sunny around Raleigh, with highs from the mid-80s to the 90s, but the weekend will drop into the 70s.