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Millions under flood threat in Carolinas

Posted at 6:50 AM, Apr 24, 2017

The Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states are bracing for a round of strong thunderstorms and the threat of flash flooding.

A system of storms carrying heavy rain that left hundreds of roads flooded in eastern Tennessee over the weekend is slowing moving northeast.

Nearly 6 million people are under flash flood watches and warnings as the storm slowly moves northeast, the National Weather Service said.



There's a high risk of flash flooding from Charleston, SC to Fayetteville, NC where residents could see 6 to 10 inches fall through Tuesday morning, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.

Some isolated areas could see even higher amounts of rain.

Over the weekend, storms carrying about 2-4 inches of rain caused flash flooding in areas parched from drought in Tennessee and southwestern Virginia.

Tennessee and Virginia

Schools in more than a dozen districts in eastern Tennessee and southwest Virginia are closed Monday to ensure safety as the water recedes.

Roads were flooded around several schools, storm drains were nearly full and water was flowing into a school's cafeteria Sunday near Knoxville.

Tim Parrott, director of Anderson County Schools, said it's uncommon for them to cancel classes due to flooding.

"Any time you do it, it's a gamble but anytime you do, we want to gamble on the students being safe," Parrot told CNN affiliate WATE-TV.

Heavy downpours over the weekend also caused a landslide on US Route 441 in Anderson County. The highway was closed for about five hours on Sunday, CNN affiliate WVLT-TV reported.

In Bristol, NASCAR postponed the Food City 500 race Sunday due to the inclement weather.

The race, which is the eighth stop in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, is now scheduled to start 1 p.m. on Monday.

At the campgrounds near the Bristol Motor Speedway, campers remained hopeful even as they moved to higher grounds when the flood waters began to rise.

"As long as the race is still going on, we're going to be here and we're going to go," one of the campers, William Powell, told CNN affiliate WCYB.

In southwest Virginia, at least a hundred county roads were closed early Monday due to high water, the Virginia Department of Transportation said.