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UPDATE: 3 dead, 2 missing, 31 saved from flooding at North Carolina campsite; 2 others killed

UPDATE: 3 dead, 2 missing, 31 saved from flooding at North Carolina campsite; 2 others killed

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Floodwaters from a nearby river overtook recreational vehicles at a North Carolina campsite Thursday, killing three people and leaving two others missing, including a child. More than 30 people at the campground were saved from their vehicles, and two others were killed in the flooding nearby, authorities said.

In addition to the three deaths at the Hiddenite Family Campground, an hour west of Winston-Salem in Alexander County, a motorist was killed in the county while traveling on a road that was washed out by rising water, said Doug Gillespie, county director of public services.

“Just massive amounts of flooding,” Gillespie said. “We’ve had approximately 50 roads across the county [that] have been compromised. Four bridges have been washed away.”

In Rolesville, just north of Raleigh, police reported that a child drowned on Thursday in a creek swollen by the rain.

The child, whose name and age were not released, was recovered unresponsive from the water about an hour later, police said.

According to Gillespie, the floodwaters either covered or swept away the recreational vehicles at the campground, which is next to the South Yadkin River and is home for many of the people caught in the flood.

“It was a massive amount of water. Now, there’s a massive amount of debris,” he said.

Rescue personnel and local fire departments saved 31 people from their vehicles, some of them hanging on to their campers, according to Gillespie. He said three people were taken to a hospital for treatment; two of them were later released.

Of the two people still missing from the campground, one of them was about a year old, Gillespie said.

Fixing the roads and bridges will take time, he said. “This is not going to be a two-day fix, a two-week fix,” said Gillespie, who added that it could take up to a year.

The campground is about 50 miles north of Charlotte, where part of Interstate 85 was closed because of flooding and city officials said emergency personnel were performing water rescues. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte told students not already on campus to stay away because of flooding.

To the east, some school systems dismissed classes ahead of schedule. Duke Energy said about 3,100 customers were without electricity across North Carolina Thursday.

The rain was the result of moisture moving ahead of Tropical Storm Eta in the southeast and interacting with a cold front.

Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.

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