A Flood Warning has been issued for Burke and surrounding counties until 1 a.m. Sunday.
The National Weather Service in Greenville-Spartanburg has issued the warning for Burke, Catawba, McDowell, Caldwell, Lincoln and Avery counties.
Around 9:45 p.m. Saturday, radar and rain gauges indicated that up to 4 inches of rain has fallen since 6 p.m., with some areas receiving up to 6 inches, the NWS said.
Numerous reports of flooding have been received from Lincolnton to Hickory and Lenoir, and out toward Morganton. Numerous creeks are out of their banks and side roads are closed in a corridor from Lincolnton to Blowing Rock along a wide corridor along U.S. Highway 321. Many creeks and streams will remain in flood or at bank-full for the remainder of the evening before water recedes, perhaps only temporarily, around midnight, the NWS said.
Additional rainfall amounts of 1/2 to 1 inch are possible in these areas through midnight. More heavy rain is possible during the overnight hours into early Sunday morning, the NWS said. Flood waters will remain high along many creeks that feed into the Catawba River and the South Fork Catawba River through at least midnight.
Fire Marshal and Emergency Services Director Mike Willis said the flash flooding will pass and the best thing people can do is stay indoors and wait out.
Willis advised anyone who lives near bodies of water to move to higher ground until the flooding calms down.
Several roads in Morganton have been closed due to flooding or downed trees, according to Morganton Department of Public Safety Facebook page. Roads include Bost Road near Lost Corners Road; Tucker Lane off N Green St.; and Sanford Drive at Tate Street (1 lane open). Several parks also have been closed including Bethel Park; Greenway Access on Lenoir Road; Greenway access on Carbon City Road; and River Village (Sanford Drive).
Water also was reported to be covering Tomlinson Loop in Connelly Springs, according to video submitted by a News Herald reader.
Those who must drive are urged to be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize the dangers of flooding. Numerous roads, parking lots and bridges will be threatened by heavy rain and rapidly rising streams and creeks. Pay close attention to road signs indicating a flood-prone area. Obey all barricades, even if water is not currently over the road, the NWS said. Drivers are reminded not to drive through water covering roads and remember to "turn around, don't drown."