Torrential rain and wind pounded parts of North Carolina (search) early Friday, killing at least one person when flash flooding washed out a bridge.

Two other people were rescued clinging to trees after their vehicles plunged into the creek in Cleveland County, west of Charlotte (search).

The body of the victim, a man, was found about three-quarters of a mile downstream from the Maple Springs Church Road bridge, said David Dodd, chief of the Shanghai Volunteer Fire Department.

Conditions were so bad that rescuers halted the search for several hours before resuming around 7 a.m. Forecasters said severe weather was possible through the day.

The two survivors' vehicles were recovered. Authorities have not found the victim's vehicle, and were not immediately able to determine if he had anyone with him. They also do not yet know if more vehicles ran off the bridge.