1 dead, 1 missing in rain-swollen NC creek

COLLETTSVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Heavy rains that caused power outages and flash floods in western North Carolina were blamed for the death of a 10-year-old girl and disappearance of a 48-year-old man who were swept away while swimming in a rural creek.

The victims were from two Charlotte families who were swimming in a usually calm pool section of Wilson Creek that’s nearly 100 miles north of Charlotte, Caldwell County spokeswoman LouAnn Kincaid said Sunday. Their names weren’t released.

The girl’s body was recovered Saturday evening after being spotted by kayakers about three-quarters of a mile from where she had been swimming, Kincaid said.

The creek “is about two feet above normal will all the rain” across the Appalachian foothills, Kincaid said Sunday.

Parts of Catawba, Lincoln and Cleveland received up to a foot of rain Saturday as a result of a slow-moving rain system.

Catawba County spokesman Jim Dickerson said crews there were checking out reports of damage to 130 homes and other buildings.

The county and the cities of Hickory and Newton — where dozens of streets were underwater Saturday afternoon — were among the communities declaring local emergencies as a precursor to seeking state and federal aid, assistant county emergency services director Mark Petit said.

Dozens of roads closed by rushing water were being slowly reopened, Dickerson said. There were no reported injuries from the flash flooding, he said. Sections of at least six roads will remain closed for up to three months to repair damage, he said.

Interstate 85 was closed for a short time Saturday afternoon in Cabarrus County because of high water, the State Highway Patrol said.

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