About 3 inches of rain fell within an hour and a half Thursday afternoon in North Wilkesboro, creating havoc in portions of the lower end of town.
The sky darkened and torrential rain started about 3:30 p.m., soon becoming too much for storm water drains to handle and causing street flooding in multiple areas of North Wilkesboro.
The first storm water flooding was reported a short distance west of the bottom of Second Street Hill, where Second Street transitions to Main Street near Smoot Park. The Wilkes Rescue Squad was dispatched about 4 p.m. to check on a vehicle stopped in deep water in the roadway and found that the driver had gone to nearby Main Street Music & Pawn for shelter.
At 5:40 p.m., a town maintenance official asked the Wilkes Communications Center to contact the N.C. Department of Transportation for assistance with a storm water drain that was blocked by debris and not allowing water flooding the street to drain off. The North Wilkesboro Fire Department and North Wilkesboro police still had that end of Main Street closed to traffic.
At 4:13 p.m., emergency personnel were dispatched to a report of a minivan wrecking on Wilkesboro Avenue, near Hadley’s restaurant and Ride With Pride car wash. Wilkesboro Avenue was flooded at this point. They found that the right front corner of the vehicle left the roadway and was in a deep ditch full of water. The woman who was driving the minivan and her children were located at the nearby car wash.
The Central Business District Loop was closed to traffic near where it intersects with Wilkesboro Boulevard due to street flooding, but one lane was opened at 4:43 p.m. after enough water had drained off.
Deep storm water also was reported on portions of N.C. 268 East in North Wilkesboro.
Some downtown buildings were flooded by storm water. No injuries were reported. Only light rain was reported starting a little before 5 p.m.
The Wilkesboro, Moravian Falls and Broadway fire departments were dispatched to Executive Drive in Wilkesboro at 4:33 p.m. in response to a report of possible smoke in one of the former First Union bank buildings there. No fire was found.