FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Residents braced for more rain Saturday after a cloudburst caused flooding that drowned two children and forced the evacuation of at least 400 people.
Flooding also killed two people in West Virginia.
Nearly 4 inches of rain fell in this city in two hours late Friday. More rain fell overnight, and the National Weather Service said that there was a strong chance of still more rain.
"We've got more people coming in to prepare sandbags and environmental services folks are coming in to unclog the drains, and buses are coming in for possible evacuation procedures," city spokesman Jason Brady said.
Searches Under Way
Three rescue teams consisting of divers and police dog units searched Saturday to make sure no one else drowned, Brady said.
"Just a few minutes ago they pulled a car out of some water that had two people in it," Brady said. The two were not injured.
Rescuers saved five people who clutched at branches in a rain-swollen creek after they tried to escape their flooded van, but two children, ages 6 and 4, who had been in the vehicle, were swept away and drowned.
Cumberland County Deputy James E. Miller and others formed a human chain and used ropes in the rescue Friday night after the van had been struck by water overflowing a nearby dam.
At least 400 people were evacuated, some in boats, and were in temporary shelters Saturday at a gymnasium, an armory and a church, officials said. The evacuees included more than 160 people taken from a nursing home, said Graham Wilson, a spokesman for the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.
Military Lends a Hand
Soldiers coming through town on their way to Ft. Bragg for a military exercise were blocked by the high water and helped with the evacuation of nursing home residents, Mayor J. L. Dawkins said.
To the north, creeks were swollen by more than 3 inches of rain Saturday in parts of West Virginia, forcing some families to leave their homes and drowning two people, authorities said. Meteorologist Peter Park of the weather service said that flooding was reported in several counties in the southern and western parts of the state.
A 30-year-old woman drowned when the truck in which she was riding was caught by a swollen creek and lodged against a bridge abutment, state police said.
A man who was checking to make sure that people were not trapped inside their homes drowned when he was swept away by high water in the Alum Creek area, Kanawha County Manager Ron Gregory said.