ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Severe weather passing through western North Carolina has left more than 11,000 people without power.

Duke Energy reported outages in Henderson, Transylvania and Buncombe counties on Monday, while the Haywood Electric Membership Cooperative reported nearly 3,100 outages.

Officials with Avery County Schools dismissed classes at 2:30 p.m., or 90 minutes early, because of the threat of heavy rains and the potential for flooding.

The National Weather Service issued flood and flash flood warnings for portions of western North Carolina. A tornado watch was post for areas east of Asheville extending to the central piedmont. A hazardous weather outlook was in effect for central and eastern counties.

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