By Jesse Wood
As Hurricane Joaquin moves closer to North Carolina and with the ground already saturated from a week of rain, emergency officials and residents are bracing for inevitable flooding.
Currently, the National Weather Servicee has issued a flash flood watch for the High Country and much of the rest of the state. “Prolonged heavy rain” is expected early Friday into Saturday.
Locally, the flash flood watch remains in effect from Friday morning through Sunday evening. Since Thursday, nearly 10 inches of rain has fallen in Boone, according to RaysWeather.com.
RaysWeather.com reported that after all of the rain falls through early next week, the past 10-day rain totals will rival the more than 20 inches of rain that the High Country received in a two-to-three-week span in September 2004.
“Periods of rain continue into Sunday but with less intensity. Showers remain into Monday. The risk of flooding is as high as I have seen since September 2004 when 20″+ of rain fell in a 2-3 week period. Many locations, for 10-day rain totals (last Thursday through Sunday/Monday) will match those totals,” RaysWeather.com wrote in its forecast discussion on Thursday.
Expect scattered showers and drizzle through Friday morning.
The Blacksburg, Va., office of the National Weather Service notes that significant flooding is possible:
“Serious and possibly life-threatening flooding may occur from this event. Showers will increase later today with heavier rain arriving overnight. Periods of heavy rain will last through Saturday. Landslides, debris flows, and power outages are also major concerns. This rain is NOT from Hurricane Joaquin. Any affect from that, if any, would not be until Sunday and early next week. Make sure you have a plan to stay safe, especially if you live along creeks, streams, or rivers. Make sure you have a way to receive [NWS] warnings, even if the power goes out.”