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People have died this week since Alberto made landfall

01 June 2018

Western portions of the Carolinas have seen more than 20 inches in the past two weeks, the National Weather Service said. All campgrounds along the Catawba River have been evacuated, and significant flooding is occurring along the river.

Shelters were set up at two churches and a YMCA.

Spokesperson for McDowell County Emergency Management Karyn Yaussy said Wednesday as rain continues to move into the area, their biggest concern is now Lake James.

While the flash flood watch expires at 8 p.m., there will be little change on Thursday and Friday, with thick moisture remaining in place and somewhat warmer days in the 80s triggering numerous showers and storms, some of which could dump heavy rain.

Emergency responders also carried out at least 10 other water rescues and received reports of damage to homes, the extent of which wasn't immediately clear, Eggleston said.

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She said emergency personnel were notifying people who are camping around Lake James, and going door to door warning those about the potential situation.

The National Weather Service said a landslide "has compromised [sic] the integrity of Lake Tahoma Dam". Various Western North Carolina counties' emergency services were taking half-hourly readings of the river where it flows by residential areas, according to Matt Bush of Blue Ridge Public Radio in Asheville.

Alberto, the first named storm of a hurricane season that won't officially start until Friday, made landfall Monday west of Panama City on Florida's Gulf Coast, delivering heavy rains, surging seas and winds of 45 miles per hour.

In western North Carolina, journalists Mike McCormick and Aaron Smetzler were killed Sunday while covering the impact of heavy rain in the area for NBC affiliate WYFF. A search continued late Thursday afternoon for the second person, while farther north in Madison County, the sheriff's office said rescuers were searching for a female reported missing in water the night before. They include Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village. Most of your stronger to severe thunderstorms will likely be in the heat of the day early this afternoon.

A swift water rescue team from Charlotte came to assist McDowell personnel on Wednesday. On Tuesday, there were flash flood watches issued for parts of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky, where tornadoes were also a risk. A tree fell on their SUV as they covered the hazardous weather, the station said.

People have died this week since Alberto made landfall