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State Of Emergency Declared In Catawba County

2:31 PM, Jul 27, 2013   |    comments
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Catawba County, NC (WBTV) -- A State of Emergency has been declared in Catawba County, the City of Newton, and the City of Hickory after being hit with heavy rains, which caused flooding across the area.

Emergency crews have been dealing with flooding in several areas in and around the WBTV viewing area due to large bands of rain that flowed in Saturday morning.

The American Red Cross opened a shelter at Newton Recreation Center, located at 23 S. Brady Avenue, for any Catawba County residents displaced by the flooding.

Photos: Severe Weather Opens Sinkhole Beside NC Highway

Before noon, there were two swift water rescues in Newton, officials said.

Citizens have been urged to stay indoors in Hickory and Newton.

Two people were rescued on Old Conover Startown Road after a motorist was swept off the roadway, and a second motorist was swept away in an attempt to save the first. Both were rescued and taken to the hospital.

The second incident involved rescuing a family from a flooded home on McKay Road.

Officials from Duke Energy said the Catawba River basin is experiencing high rainfall and that more rain is expected in the forecast.

Duke Energy's website had Lake Hickory's level listed at 100.2 feet just before noon. The lake has only topped its dam a few times in history.

Duke said Lookout Shoals Lake is rising, and is expected to exceed 104 feet as the rains persist.

Firefighters in Lincoln County told WBTV sixty emergency personnel were deployed for weather-related issues, and that no injuries have been reported.

However, crews rescued one animal from rising floodwaters.

Many roads throughout the area are flooded. Firefighters said several vehicles were even washed away and floated down a local stream in Lincoln County.

In Catawba County, at least six roads have been closed, and will remain closed for a minimum of three months, officials said.

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