North Carolina Rains Down Power Lines, Traps Woman In Car

A heavy storm dumped up to 2 1/2 inches of rain in southern Mecklenburg County on Tuesday and prompted the rescue of a woman whose car got trapped in quickly rising water.

The National Weather Service said the heavy rain started about 1:30 p.m. in Gastonia and headed east, dropping between 1 3/4 inches and 2 1/2 inches on Charlotte.

Charlotte Fire Department spokesman Capt. Rob Brisley said the storm "did one of the things that firefighters fear most: It stalled and slowed down."

"Nearly a dozen calls were weather related throughout the afternoon, ranging from power lines down to a business struck by lightning with no fire, to at least two vehicles being flooded and one requiring a lady to be rescued by eastside firefighters," he said.

The woman, who firefighters said did not want to be identified, drove into the flooded intersection of Robinhood Road and Addison Drive near Sharon Amity Road about 3:30 p.m., and her late 1990s Volvo couldn't get out.

"At that time the water was about knee deep. It was moving probably just a couple miles an hour," said Firefighter Mark Jamison, a member of one of the Fire Department's two rescue teams specially trained for water rescues.

Jamison and another firefighter had the woman roll down her window; then they put a personal flotation device on her and "we just picked her up and carried her out."