Local News
9:57 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Lakes And Rivers Rise, Bringing More Warnings

flooded park bench
Water levels are up across the region, including this picnic area on Lake Cornelius in Davidson.
Credit David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net

All the recent rain has raised water levels on the region’s lakes and rivers, and brought more flooding in some areas. A flood warning was extended until 9pm across the region – especially at the upper end of the Catawba River basin.

Lake and river levels are up – in some cases above flood stage.  Duke Energy reports that Mountain Island Lake is above full pond, Lake Norman is nearly at flood stage and Lake Wylie is above normal for this time of year.

The National Weather service said water at Mountain Island was expected to remain high because of storm runoff and dam releases upstream. "Flooding of docks, yards and other low-lying areas above and below the dam (at Mountain Island Lake) will continue. High water conditions will remain, especially along Lake and Riverside drives," the weather service said.

In Catawba County, officials declared a state of emergency because of flooding on Lookout Shoals Lake. In Morganton, the heavy rains led to a sewage overflow over the past few days near the Vine Arden Road wastewater treatment plant.

And the Lake Norman Marine Commission on Saturday warned boaters to watch out for floating debris, and to avoid boating at dusk or after dark. The commission says boaters also should avoid making large wakes, which can damage docks and other structures in the high water.

The rains aren’t letting up any time soon. We’ve got a chance of showers and thunderstorms daily through the end of the week.

OFFICER SHOOTS AND KILLS MAN WITH GUNS

A Charlotte Mecklenburg SWAT team member shot and killed a man early Saturday after the man pointed two handguns while approaching police. The shooting happened around 1:15 Saturday morning on Penninger Circle, off Mallard Creek Road. Police went to the home after a caller reported he had been shot by another man, later identified as his father.  59-year-old Lemuel Furr the 3rd barricaded himself in the house and told police negotiators he would not be taken alive. Police said the man later came out of the house pointing the guns, and was shot by a SWAT officer with a rifle. The man died at the scene.

AIR GUARD HEADS TO FIGHT ARIZONA FIRES

A Charlotte-based Air National Guard unit leaves today for Arizona to help fight wildfires. Thirty crew members on three C-130 airplanes will depart from the local air guard base at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The assignment comes exactly a year after another C-130 from the 145th Air Lift Wing crashed in South Dakota, killing four crew members and seriously injuring two others. The Charlotte crews have continued training to help with wildfires, using a piece of equipment called a MAFF – for Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System. The MAFFs spread bright red fire retardant on fires.

INVESTIGATION AT CHAPEL HILL

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is facing a third federal investigation over sexual assault, this one from a student who says the school retaliated against her for filing an assault claim.  The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights will look into whether the university retaliated against Landen Gambill. She and three other women filed a federal discrimination complaint against the school for its handling of sexual assault cases.  UNC spokeswoman Karen Moon says the school will cooperate with the investigation.

PAGEANT CONTESTANT COMES OUT

This year’s Miss South Carolina pageant will have a gay contestant. Analouisa Valencia, who is Miss Lyman, says she decided to come out before the pageant so she could be more comfortable with herself. She didn't openly share her sexuality last year when she competed as Miss Electric City.  The 19-year-old from Spartanburg thinks she is the first openly gay contestant ever in the Miss South Carolina pageant, and perhaps in all of the Miss America competitions.     Miss South Carolina preliminaries start Tuesday, on Valencia's 20th birthday. The finals are July 13 in Columbia.

GIFFORDS IN RALEIGH TO PUSH GUN CONTROL

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has become the face of the fight for gun control since she was shot in the head two years ago at a public event. Today she’ll bring her message to Raleigh. Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, co-founded the gun-violence prevention group Americans for Responsible Solutions. They’ll discuss how increased gun controls can coexist with the Second Amendment and the right of Americans to own guns. Giffords was injured in January 20-11 when a mentally ill man opened fire at an outdoor event in Tucson, Ariz.  Six people were killed, and 13 were injured. Giffords and Kelly are making a seven-day, 7-state tour, from Alaska to Maine. They’re trying to build momentum for stalled federal legislation that would expand background checks on gun purchases.