Motorists rescued as heavy rain floods NC roads

August 5, 2011 - 6:28 PM
North Carolina Flooding

Jason Dickson, with the Charlotte Fire Dept. Swiftwater Rescue Team carries a one year old child as residents are evacuated from apartments on Southwest Blvd. Friday afternoon Aug. 5, 2011 in Charlotte, N.C. Heavy rains swept across the area causing flooding to low-lying areas.(AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, Todd Sumlin)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Firefighters rescued stranded motorists and evacuated a few neighborhoods as heavy rain flooded streets and roads in the Charlotte area.

Charlotte fire department spokesman Capt. Rob Brisley said Friday that rescuers helped more than a dozen motorists stranded in cars because of high water. They also evacuated people from two neighborhoods when creeks spilled over their banks. No injuries were reported.

The flash flooding was trigged by heavy showers and thunderstorms, and as much as 6 inches of rain fell in a few hours in some areas.

Brisley says many of the rescues were necessary because motorists drove through high water on city streets instead of turning around.

The fire department used boats to rescue some of the people trapped in their homes.

"We still getting reports from around the city," he said. "We had a lot of people trapped and we've been busy all afternoon. But we haven't had any injuries."

In some neighborhoods, heavy rain seeped through roofs and flooded the inside of homes and businesses. Some tenants at the University Garden Apartments had to be rescued.

At the Embassy Suites, a drain pipe that carries water from the roof burst. That sent water streaming into the hotel lobby, but the hotel remained in open.