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Flood risk looms for southeastern US as weekend storms threaten to dump inches of rain

The threat for flash flooding will remain high across the southeastern United States as rounds of drenching thunderstorms continue this weekend.

Ample amounts of moisture combined with the slow-moving and repetitive nature of the storms will continue to spell trouble for some communities in the South.

"Moisture that has been trapped over the region will continue to be recycled on a daily basis into early next week," AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Spamer said.

Central and eastern South Carolina, southeastern Georgia and the Florida Peninsula will be the areas most at risk for heavy storms that can cause incidents of flash and urban flooding through Sunday.

Downpours are expected to become less frequent across southern West Virginia, southwestern Virginia and western North Carolina as a wedge of slightly drier air moves into the region, according to Spamer.

However, isolated incidents of flash flooding are still possible where storms develop.

Normal monthly rainfall amounts could be exceeded in mere hours or days in some communities.

Nearly 5 inches of rain fell in Athens, Georgia, on Thursday, which is well above the 3.53 inches of rain that normally falls in the city during the month of August.

Rainfall rates in excess of an inch per hour are likely in any storm that erupts. Around 3.50 inches of rain fell in about an hour near Red Bank, South Carolina, on Wednesday, according to a National Weather Service employee.

The heavy rainfall can quickly overwhelm storm drains and flood roads and neighboring lands.

Even where flash flooding does not occur, the downpours can cause headaches for those traveling or vacationing.

"The disruptive downpours can occur along portions of major highways such as interstates 10, 20, 26, 40, 77, 85 and 95," Spamer said.

Motorists should slow down in the heaviest downpours to avoid the risk of hydroplaning.

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Hikers and campers in the Appalachians should be on guard throughout the weekend, as storms can pop up with little notice.

On Thursday night, flash flooding forced the evacuation of campgrounds in Swain County, North Carolina, according to the Greenville-Spartanburg National Weather Service office.

Despite the widespread nature of the storms, some areas will be missed by the heaviest rainfall and may only experience a brief shower or two.

The pattern of flooding downpours could persist across the region into the middle of next week.