COLLETTSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Heavy rains that caused power outages and flash floods in western North Carolina were blamed for the deaths of a 10-year-old girl and 48-year-old man who were swept away while swimming in a rural creek.
The victims were from two Charlotte-area families who were swimming in a usually calm pool section of Wilson Creek that’s nearly 100 miles north of Charlotte, Caldwell County spokeswoman LouAnn Kincaid said Sunday.
They were identified as Juan Alberdi of Huntersville and Delilah Lovett of Charlotte. Alberdi and his two children and a friend and her two children visited the creek to swim Saturday evening, Caldwell County officials said in a prepared statement Sunday. Alberdi and Lovett “were immediately swept away in the swift currents,” officials said.
The girl’s body was recovered Saturday evening after being spotted by kayakers about three-quarters of a mile from where she had been swimming, Kincaid said. Alberdi’s body was recovered Sunday.
The creek “is about two feet above normal with all the rain” across the Appalachian foothills, Kincaid said Sunday.
Parts of Catawba, Lincoln and Cleveland received up to a foot of rain Saturday as a result of a slow-moving rain system.
Catawba County spokesman Jim Dickerson said crews there were checking out reports of damage to 130 homes and other buildings. Damage assessment teams found that seven homes and three businesses suffered major damage, and more than two-dozen roads are closed or impassible due to standing water or flood damage, county officials said.
The county and the cities of Hickory and Newton _ where dozens of streets were underwater Saturday afternoon _ were among the communities declaring local emergencies as a precursor to seeking state and federal aid, assistant county emergency services director Mark Petit said.
There were no reported injuries from the flash flooding, Dickerson said. Sections of at least six roads will remain closed for up to three months to repair damage, he said.
Interstate 85 was closed for a short time Saturday afternoon in Cabarrus County because of high water, the State Highway Patrol said.
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