Triangle roads shut down, cars swamped by flash flooding from severe thunderstorms

A DOT traffic camera shows several cars trapped in flash flood waters  Monday evening after heavy rains moved through parts of Wake County.
A DOT traffic camera shows several cars trapped in flash flood waters Monday evening after heavy rains moved through parts of Wake County.

Severe thunderstorms brought heavy downpours across much of northern and central North Carolina on Monday, causing flash flooding and water rescues.

Strong but scattered thunderstorms were expected across the area May 21 the National Weather Service in Raleigh reported.

Up to 2 inches of rain was expected "in less than a couple of hours," the weather service said, along with the possibility of hail and brief strong wind gusts.

The heavy rain led to flooding of streets and swollen creeks, after days of rain across the area.

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When the storm system rolled into the Triangle, about 2 inches of rain already had fallen. The ground was already saturated from previous rainy days.

Areas including Glenwood, Creedmoor and Interstate 440 near Six Forks Road flooded quickly.

Roads shut down or blocked off because of high water:

I-440 near Six Forks Road

▪ I-440 at Glenwood Avenue

▪ West Millbrook at Six Forks Road

▪ Creedmoor Road and Glenwood Avenue

EMS crews had to perform water rescues on several swamped cars near Crabtree Valley Mall and at Leesville and Millbrook.

A flash flood warning was in effect for Wake, Orange and Durham counties until 11:30 p.m.

The weather service warned motorists to avoid driving through standing water.

Raleigh police said other flooded areas include:

▪ 2100 block of Hillock Drive

▪ Farley Drive and Millbrook Road

▪ Falls of Neuse and Spring Forest roads

▪ I-440 westbound and Wake Forest Road

▪ Harps Mill and Haymarket

▪ Harps Mill and Plateau Lane

▪ Six Forks Road and Longstreet Drive

West Millbrook and Six Forks roads

The City of Raleigh and National Weather Service warned that the heavy rain made Crabtree Creek rise quickly.

The Glenwood area near Crabtree Valley Mall was in minor flood stage as of Monday evening.

"As the surge progresses downstream, it’s likely to cause some flooding at other crossings of the creek as well – Anderson Drive and Wake Forest are the most likely," the city said on Twitter.

Part of Newton Road over Crabtree Creek washed out Monday evening and Raleigh police said the collapsed part of the road was about 25 feet deep and was filled with rushing water.

Nearby Sandy Creek neighbors' water service was disrupted.

More storms also are possible on Wednesday.

The weather service earlier warned of a strong storm headed toward Forsyth and Davidson counties Monday afternoon with wind gusts up to 40 mph.

Check out the ABC11 weather forecast to find out the latest information about when and where we'll see more rain this week in central and eastern N.C.