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With ground already saturated, Chantal could be significant flooding threat

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TABOR CITY, NC (WWAY) -- After flooding rains in the Carolinas the last several weeks, we're finally getting a break. But now Tropical Storm Chantal looms in the Atlantic. So can our area handle any more rain?

Chantal formed in the Atlantic Sunday night. The storm's track brings it just east of Florida by the weekend.

Forescasters say Chantal could weaken over the mountains of Haiti, but any leftover tropical moisture is not good for the Carolinas.

"June was an incredibly wet month," National Weather Service meteorologist Josh Weiss said. "Across this area we had roughly 11 to 16 inches of rainfall, so any additional rainfall right now will lead to immediate flooding problems."

Like the flooding on NC 409 near Tabor City. The road is blocked due to high water after all the rain last week, and residents say it will need much longer than a week to dry out.

"It can handle up to three inches of rain, but not up to the 12 inches of rain we have had," one neighbor told us. "It won't handle that."

Forecasters say this scenario could be history repeating.

"Hurricane Floyd occurred just two weeks after Hurricane Dennis, which dropped six inches of rain and saturated the environment already," Weiss said.

It's a similar situation to the 11 inches plus that fell across southeastern North Carolina last week.

"Any more tropical moisture will just enhance flooding, and may cause even worse flooding than we would get with just a tropical system itself," Weiss said.

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