Burke County Public Schools will operate on a two-hour delay today.

The school system posted the inclement weather announcement on its website on Thursday afternoon, as well as its social media pages. A phone tree call also was sent out about the delay.

Additionally, BCPS Superintendent Larry Putnam tweeted about the altered schedule.

“BCPS is going to be on a two-hour delay (Friday) for students and staff,” the tweet read. “This will allow us to have daylight before buses and student drivers get on the road.”

Today’s two-hour delay comes after BCPS dismissed at noon on Thursday due to heavy rains and flooding.

The National Weather Service on Thursday issued a flood warning that expired at 7 p.m., along with a flash flood watch that lasted until midnight.

Dan Crawley, a weather forecaster with Foothills Action Network, said the impacts of this event could linger into the weekend.

“Scattered showers (continued) through the evening before moving out, and that will prevent streams from falling quickly,” Crawley said Thursday afternoon.

“The main stems like Johns River and Catawba River will likely peak in flood stage in the next 12-24 hours, and with the Upper Catawba Basin seeing widespread significant rainfall, it could be late Friday or into Saturday before they fall below action or flood stage.”

Today’s weather service forecast for Burke County calls for mostly sunny conditions with a high of 47 degrees. Tonight’s forecast is for clear conditions with an overnight low temperature of 28 degrees.

Precipitation is forecast to return Saturday, however, with chances of rain through the day and into the night.

On Thursday, the N.C. Department of Transportation was forced to close several roads and a state of emergency was declared. The state of emergency went into effect at 1 p.m., said Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Director Mike Willis.

A state of emergency typically is declared to protect citizens and to make sure that local governments can be eligible for state and federal funds if they become available and people are eligible, Willis said.

Later Thursday afternoon, the county issued a press release with a list of roads that were affected by high water. They included Morning Star Church Road, Tallent Road, East Meadow Trail, Drexel Road, Cook Road, Amherst Road, lower Kirksey Drive, sections of Miller Bridge Road, Bost Road, U.S. Highway 70 between Old N.C. Highway 10 and Berry Road (where the carp pond almost was overflowing), Byrd Road, Mount Harmony Church Road and Causby Road.

Earlier in the day Thursday, facilities across Burke County were closed including Bethel Park, the Catawba River Soccer Complex and the Catawba River Greenway Access behind Judge’s Riverside BBQ, according to a Facebook post from the city of Morganton’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Troopers were slammed with wrecks all day, said 1st Sgt. C.M. Tedder with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. He wanted to remind drivers to allow more time to get to their destinations, slow down and increase following distance so that they can reach their destinations safely.

Justin Epley can be reached at jepley@morganton.com or 828-432-8943. Chrissy Murphy can be reached at cmurphy@morganton.com or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.

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