Tropical Storm Andrea soaking Triangle; flood warning in effect

Tropical Storm Andrea is bringing heavy rain and the possibility of flash flooding to the Triangle today before shuttling off to the northeast.

A flash flood warning has been issued for Franklin, Harnett, Johnston, Nash and Wake counties until 8:15 a.m. As much as four inches of rain could fall in some places, forecasters said.

The Triangle faces “a very wet commute” this morning, WTVD meteorologist Don Schwenneker said.

The National Hurricane Center has posted a tropical storm warning for the entire North Carolina coast, including Pamlico and Albemarle sounds. Heavy rain, gusty winds, dangerous surf and rip currents and minor coastal flooding are all coming with the storm, forecasters said.

The center of the storm this morning is over the Lowcountry of South Carolina, and it is moving northeast about 17 mph, according to the hurricane center. It had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

One group of businesses that are counting on relatively minor flooding are the Southern States car dealerships on Wake Forest Road in Raleigh. Despite the flash flood watch, the dealerships will not be moving cars off their lots, as they have done before big storms in the past.

The dealerships are near Crabtree Creek, which has jumped its banks during tropical storms.

“If we moved cars every time there was a flood warning, we’d be moving cars every week from now until September,” said Brian McInerney, Southern States Nissan’s general manager.

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer