Flash flooding in North Carolina blamed for two deaths

July 29, 2013 at 10:32 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 29 (UPI) -- Heavy rains savaged states along the U.S. East Coast, triggering floods in North Carolina that officials blamed for two deaths.

Authorities said a 10-year-old girl and 48-year-old man died in a creek in Caldwell County while on a Saturday family outing because of the weather, the Charlotte Observer reported.

"They got caught in the real swift currents up here and disappeared," said LouAnne Kincaid, a spokeswoman for Caldwell County.

On Sunday, as families and business in hard-hit counties began cleaning up in the flood's aftermath, residents of Gaston County faced rising waters as the Catawba River swelled beyond its banks, the Observer said.

The National Weather Service said the area around Charlotte would have a chance to dry out Monday and Tuesday.

Heavy rain pushed into the Charlotte area Saturday, when a nearly stationary weather system dumped more than a foot of rain in some parts of Catawba, Lincoln and Cleveland counties.

Catawba County spokesman Jim Dickerson said there were reports of damage to 130 homes and other buildings. He said sections of six roads damaged by flooding could be closed for up to three months for repairs.

The rains swamped area interstates, leaving cars stranded, clogging traffic for miles.

The storm dumped nearly 8 inches of rain on Philadelphia International Airport in 6 hours Sunday, CNN reported, knocking out power to parts of the airport.

It was the same in the western United States.

Heavy rain and hail fell in the Las Vegas area.

A flash flood near the Grand Canyon caused a tour bus to flip onto its side and be swept 300 yards downstream, CNN said. The 33 passengers crawled to safety through a window.

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