Camille Church of Winston-Salem called 911 Thursday morning when she saw floodwaters from Bowen Creek approaching her apartment complex.
“It was just terrible out here,” Church said.
Church and her sister, Denise Donardt, live at Creekwood Apartments off Old Greensboro Road. Donardt uses a wheelchair.
Church was worried for her sister.
“I can run, but she can’t,” Church said. “It (the water) started coming in my front door.”
A group of 20 city firefighters used inflatable boats to evacuate Church, Donardt and 31 other Creekwood residents affected by the flooding, said Capt. Barry Smith of the Winston-Salem Fire Department.
The firefighters took the residents to a nearby parking lot on higher ground at the Macedonia Worship Center at 500 Kinard Drive, Smith said.
The American Red Cross helped some residents find shelter, Smith said. Church and her sister planned to stay in their apartment Thursday night if Duke Energy Corp. restored her electricity, Church said.
“I have a puddle in my living room,” Church said.
The flooding caused no injuries at the apartment complex, Smith and Church said. No damage estimate was immediately available.
City firefighters also evacuated 38 people from the Colonial Estates apartments on Bethania Station Road when nearby Mill Creek overran its banks. The evacuees spent Thursday night in the homes of relatives, Smith said.
Flooding was widespread throughout Forsyth County and statewide Thursday as moisture from Tropical Storm Eta fueled the heavy rain, said Nick Luchetti, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh.
A cold front along the Appalachian Mountains combined with that moisture to produce the rain, Luchetti said.
At least four deaths were attributed to the flooding, including a child in Rolesville, which is in Wake County, and a child at the campground in Alexander County, according to news reports.
The weather service issued a flash flood warning Thursday for the state’s Piedmont region.
Winston-Salem received 5.34 inches of rain Wednesday and Thursday, Luchetti said. Greensboro received 4.1 inches of rain during the same period.
In the Twin City, rainfall was heavy at times during the morning commute. Drivers discovered puddles on highways and water flowing in and over the travel lanes.
A retaining wall washed out on Meadowlark Road, forcing officials with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools to switch to remote learning for students at Meadowlark Middle and Elementary schools.
Mud and water from a nearby apartment construction site covered Meadowlark Road. Police closed the road for hours.
Construction workers used heavy equipment to clear mud and other debris from the road.
The area around Brunson Elementary School also flooded, so school officials used remote learning there as well.
Classes were conducted at Jefferson Elementary School on Robinhood Road, but parents drove on alternate routes because of rising water at its main entrance road, said Chris Runge, a spokesman for the school district.
Flooding also was reported at the intersection of Yadkinville and Reynolda roads, University Parkway near Coliseum Drive and the intersection of Motor Road and Patterson Avenue.
Elsewhere in Forsyth and Davidson counties, flooding was reported near Pfafftown, Lewisville, Thomasville and the Arcadia community, the weather service said.
In Northwest North Carolina, flooding was reported in Yadkin, Wilkes, Stokes and Surry counties, the weather service said.
Stokes County authorities rescued someone from Seven Island Road when Seven Island Creek and the Dan River overran their banks, the weather service said.
The Yadkinville Fire Department helped many residents leave their homes along Union Cross Road amid the flooding, the weather service said.
The Yadkin River overran its banks at Elkin, at the Enon community in eastern Yadkin County, and at Yadkin College in western Davidson County, the weather service said.
The Ararat River flooded in the Ararat community in Surry County, the South Yadkin River flooded six miles southwest of Mocksville and Abbotts Creek overran its banks in Lexington, the weather service said.
Journal photographers Walt Unks and Andrew Dye contributed to this story.