BLACKSBURG, Va. — A flash flood warning is in effect until 10:30 a.m. Monday for Watauga County as Florence continues to hammer the High Country.
"Emergency management reported flooding continued across the county from the heavy rain that fell Sunday on the order of two to four inches in many areas," the advisory stated. "Watauga County Emergency Management reports that several roads and bridges are flooded, especially in low-lying areas and near creeks and stream. Several roads and bridges will likely remain flooded through at least daybreak."
Florence has been downgraded to a tropical depression, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, as of Sunday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.
"On the projected path, much of the Blacksburg forecast area, but especially the mountains of western NC, western VA, and eastern WV will be in the favorable eastern quadrant for widespread and prolonged very heavy rainfall," the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg, Va., said Sunday morning. "Rainfall of six to 10 inches remains possible and in fact likely for areas along and west of the Blue Ridge, but especially in the western mountains."
"It is very important for residents to realize that the worst conditions for our area are yet to come and are expected later today, tonight and Monday," the office said. "Very heavy potentially catastrophic flooding remains possible. Major flooding of creeks, streams and rivers also remains possible. Landslides and mudslides are also a major concern in mountain areas."
"If you live on a mountainside or in a cove at the base of a mountain, especially near a stream, be ready to leave in advance of the storm or as quickly as possible should rising water, moving earth or rocks threaten," a previous alert stated. "Consider postponing travel along mountain roads during the period of heavy rainfall."
A wind advisory for the North Carolina High Country has been extended through 4 a.m. Monday. Winds will be east 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph, the NWS said.
"These wind gusts combined with saturated soils will cause some trees to fall," the NWS said. "Scattered power outages are likely as well."
A state of emergency is in effect in Watauga County; however, no curfews or sale restrictions have been put in place, Watauga County Fire Marshal Taylor Marsh said.