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Heavier rains coming as Florence inches on; Rowan County Fair postponed again until Monday

By Mark Wineka

mark.wineka@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Rowan Countians settled in Saturday for what forecasters are still predicting could bring upward of 12 inches of rain to the county.

Gusts, sustained winds and heavier rain will move in tonight and Sunday. Steve Monday of Rowan County Weather has stayed with his prediction of 9 to 11 inches of rain through early Monday morning.

“The track’s pretty solid at this point, obviously,” Monday said about 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

The once-hurricane storm, Florence, has moved at a snail’s pace across the Carolinas after hitting the coast Thursday night.

“Right now it’s moving at 2 mph,” Monday said. Rain from the outer bands of Florence first started affecting Rowan Friday night.

Monday and other forecasters are warning that peak winds tonight and early Sunday could be 40 to 50 mph.

A “peak” wind or “gust” is one of at least 1 to 2 seconds duration. Sustained winds — those that last at least 10 seconds — could be 30 mph tonight and early Sunday, Monday said.

Earlier Saturday morning, Rowan County Weather said .29 to .6 inches of rain had been reported in spots throughout Rowan overnight.

Rowan County already has experienced scattered reports of downed trees and power lines. As of 9:55 a.m. Saturday, Duke Energy was reporting 450 customers with power outages (in 25 locations). That number was reduced to 293 by 12:15 p.m.

The Rowan County Emergency Operations Center has fielded 43 storm-related calls since Friday, mostly related to power outages and downed trees.

Downed trees have been reported Saturday  morning on Mooresville Road near Forest Glen and also Roger Drive. Trees also came down Friday night on Pine Ridge Road in China Grove, Old Beatty Ford Road near Poplar Post Lane in Rockwell and Tanglewood Drive in Kannapolis.

Downed power lines or other electrical concerns were called in from West Main Street in Rockwell, North Long streets in Salisbury and East Spencer, Stokes Ferry Road in Salisbury, I-85 near Long Ferry Road and N.C. 801 near Graham Road in Mount Ulla.

Reports came in at 11:42 a.m. Saturday of a tree down on North Main Street near the Salisbury/Spencer line and a power line down on Shuping Mill Road near Shive Road.

The Rowan Emergency Operations Center continues to update its damage assessment map at www.readyrowan.org.

On its Facebook page, Rowan County Fair officials said the fair would delay its opening again and be closed Saturday and Sunday, with hopes of opening Monday. Friday’s original opening also was postponed.

A spokesman for Catawba College said the school also would be closed Monday.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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