It’s been a wet week in Burke County, with still more chances for rain in the upcoming days but a sunnier overall outlook.
The flash flood watch for the area that originally was to expire at 8 a.m. Thursday was extended, going through at least 8 p.m. instead. And a flood advisory for the area goes through at least early Friday morning at 3:15 a.m.
For east-central Burke, the National Weather Service’s flood advisory that will last overnight Thursday said: “Rainfall accumulations of 4-8 inches since Monday over the headwaters of the Catawba River and associated tributaries has caused high flows along the Catawba River. As the floodwave passes through the Catawba reservoir chain, pool elevations will rise and fall in succession.
“Duke Energy is aggressively moving water through the river system in order to manage the heavy rainfall. As a result, Lake Rhodhiss is above full pool and water is spilling over the dam. Lake levels have passed action/advisory stage and (were) expected to rise a bit further through (Thursday) afternoon. Therefore, a flood advisory has been issued for nuisance flooding and will remain in effect through (early Friday morning) or until the floodwave has passed.”
The NWS reported Lake Rhodhiss at 102.1 feet and steadily rising, noting that the action/advisory stage is 102 feet and the minor flood stage is 104 feet. The weather service said Duke Energy was projecting the pool to reach 103 feet by Thursday evening.
At 103 feet, the NWS said there could be nuisance flooding of low-lying areas including residential yards, docks, and boat-launch areas and that water may approach structures off of Catawba Avenue below the dam and other areas upstream of the dam.
“Boaters, fishermen, kayakers, and other lake users are encouraged to exercise caution during elevated lake levels and downstream releases,” the advisory read. “Avoid areas along the stream below dams releasing water.
“Campers and other residents along the lakeshore must be prepared to retreat to higher ground if lake levels continue to rise. Stay weather aware, monitor lake levels closely, and heed guidance from local officials and emergency management.”
The NWS projects a chance between 30 and 60 percent of rain showers for Friday, mainly between 4-5 p.m., and areas of fog before 10 a.m. New precipitation amounts will be less than 1/10 inch. Friday night, the forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of showers with between 1/10 and ¼ inch possible.
On Saturday, there is a 30 percent chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 9 a.m. Saturday night’s forecast brings a 20 percent slight chance of showers and thunderstorms.
Sunday has showers and thunderstorms likely, up to a 60 percent chance and mainly between 2-3 p.m. Sunday night will have a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms and then rain showers.
Rain opportunities remain in the forecast with a 30 percent chance Monday and Monday night, a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Tuesday and Tuesday night, a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Wednesday, a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Wednesday night, and another chance for showers Thursday.
To see the full forecast from The National Weather Service, visit weather.gov.
Justin Epley is a staff writer for The News Herald. He can be reached at email@example.com.