RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on heavy rains that have prompted flooding worries in North Carolina (all times local):
Transportation crews have found a dead body while cleaning debris from a North Carolina river swollen by heavy rains.
State Department of Transportation spokesman Robert Broome said a maintenance crew made the discovery on Tuesday while removing debris at a bridge over the Neuse River at the edge of downtown Smithfield.
Smithfield town spokesman Tim Kerigan said in an email that the body couldn’t immediately be recovered because of fast-moving water.
Kerigan and Broome couldn’t say whether the death was storm-related, referring questions to the police. The Smithfield Police chief didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.
Storms that began on Sunday have drenched the state with the most rain since a destructive hurricane last year.
The National Weather Service says the Neuse River is above flood stage and expected to crest in the coming days just above 24 feet. That would be several feet below levels reached during Hurricane Matthew last year.
People in North Carolina are paying attention to rising rivers after storms dumped several inches of rain across much of the state.
Gov. Roy Cooper warned residents on Tuesday to stay wary after the state’s heaviest rainfall since last year’s Hurricane Matthew. State emergency management officials are warning of possible flooding along the Neuse River near Clayton and Smithfield, and the Tar River in Tarboro and Greenville.
Gauges in those areas indicate the rivers will crest above flood stage, but several feet below the levels caused by Matthew.
The National Weather Service said more than 8 inches had fallen in areas near Raleigh by Tuesday morning. Other areas in central North Carolina received between 5 and 7 inches.
The sun was out by early afternoon in Raleigh, and radar images indicated the storms had largely passed through the state.
Storms have dumped up to 8 inches of rain on North Carolina’s capital, prompting firefighters to rescue people from their vehicles and delaying school bus schedules.
Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh was not opening on schedule Tuesday because of heavy rains, although some stores and restaurants planned to open later in the day.
Flash flood watches posted by the National Weather Service have expired except in Raleigh, where storms have dumped up to 8 inches of rain since Sunday.
Flood warnings were posted for rivers in 33 eastern counties. A high surf advisory is in effect on the Outer Banks.
Schools in Durham and Raleigh said some buses would be late because of the weather.
About 2,700 customers remained without electricity late Tuesday morning.
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