RALEIGH, N.C. — Communities around Fort Bragg and as far north as the Raleigh suburbs braced for more heavy rain and flooding Thursday after downpours closed schools and threatened to burst a dam.
Overnight storms that dumped as much as 8 inches of rain forced boat rescues from rising waters at a Fayetteville group home and from stranded cars, multiple media outlets reported. Schools in Cumberland and Hoke counties were closed Thursday while classes were delayed in two other counties.
Slow-moving storm clouds were expected to dump another couple of inches of rain to the south and east of Raleigh on Thursday, according to Nick Petro, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Raleigh.
“The weather pattern that started yesterday hasn’t changed,” Petro said.
A flash flood watch was in effect for a dozen central counties until 10 p.m., the weather service said. Isolated severe thunderstorms capable of producing wind gusts of up to 60 mph and quarter-size hail were possible.
The Little River east of State Route 210 near the town of Manchester north of the Fort Bragg Army base broke a 70-year flood record and is likely to continue rising, Petro said. A nearby dam at Carvers Creek State Park is at risk of bursting, which could inundate nearby homes and roads.
State parks officials referred calls about the dam holding back a 100-acre pond to the state public safety department, which did not return multiple calls seeking information. The pond was built around 1850 on land owned by a banker descended from oil magnate John D. Rockefeller before the property was donated for conservation.