Ridgecrest Apartments in Hickory were evacuated due to flooding as rains across the region closed roads, toppled trees and created dangerous situations.

A number of apartments in the complex on 12thAve. SE in Hickory had no water or electricity Sunday afternoon, according to Ridgecrest resident Jamall Hill. That led Catawba County officials to open a temporary shelter set up at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) Tarlton Complex. The CVCC Tarlton Complex is located at 2550 US Hwy 70 SE, Hickory.

The shelter was open for residents and their pets. The shelter was staffed by county personnel and American Red Cross volunteers and provided cots, blankets, restrooms, showers, food and a mobile pet shelter.

Residents seeking shelter at the Tarlton Complex were advised to bring medications, personal care items, a change of clothes, pet vaccination records and pet supplies including food, food if residents have special food needs and a pillow and blanket if residents prefer their own, the release said.

For more information on the shelter, call (828) 466-7213.

Interstate 40's eastbound lane was closed for a portion of Sunday afternoon, as well, after a tree fell across the road.

Catawba County Board of Commissioners declared a State of Emergency in Catawba County Sunday due to excessive rainfall in the county that began Friday and expected to continue for several more days, according to a press release from the county.

A State of Emergency enables Catawba County Emergency Services to implement coordinated response and recovery efforts in all affected unincorporated areas of the county in alignment, according to the release.

The Catawba County Parks Systems has closed Bakers Mountain Park, Riverbend Park and St. Stephens Park due to storm-related conditions until further notice.

3 die in Lincoln County crash linked to rains

Three people died Saturday after their vehicle hit high water on a road west of Lincolnton and slammed into a tree.

At around 7:50 p.m. on Saturday, the crash occurred on N.C. 27 in the area of Rock Dam Road, according to North Carolina State Highway Patrol Master Trooper Jeffrey S. Swagger.

A preliminary investigation indicates that the vehicle was traveling west on N.C. 27, hydroplaned and ran off the road, according to a release from the North Carolina Highway Patrol. The vehicle collided with a tree and overturned in Rockdam Creek.  All three occupants were trapped in the vehicle, which was on its side and submerged in approximately six feet of water, the Patrol states. 

The creek waters were higher than normal due to heavy rainfall over the past two days and rescue efforts were greatly hindered by extremely heavy rainfall at the time, according to the highway patrol.

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