Heavy rains expected in Southern states after snowstorm

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North Carolina is waiting for warmer temperatures to help melt snow and ice brought by a winter storm. (Photo: WRAL/CNN)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Forecasters say North Carolina can expect heavy rains and a flood threat on the heels of a winter storm that walloped the area.

The National Weather Service issued a statement warning of widespread rainfall starting Friday that could total 1.5 inches across much of the state and 3 inches in some places.

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Meteorologists say runoff from snowmelt could exacerbate the potential for flooding.

The state was just starting to thaw out from a wintry storm that dumped more than 2 feet in some pockets of the state. Driving conditions remained challenging through Wednesday morning as melting snow refroze on roads.

WRAL-TV reported that icy patches were suspected as the cause in a dozen crashes Wednesday. No serious injuries were reported in those crashes.