Heavy rain causes North Carolina flooding, causes three deaths

LINCOLNTON, N.C. (AP) A chunk of North Carolina's mountains and foothills are facing flash flooding that's being blamed for three deaths.

The National Weather Service said Sunday that six inches or more of rain has fallen in parts of the region between Boone and Lincolnton since Thursday.

Media reports say three men died Saturday after their vehicle hit high water on a road west of Lincolnton and slammed into a tree.

North Carolina's State Highway Patrol said the occupants were trapped inside as the vehicle submerged in several feet of water. The victims haven't been identified.

Catawba County commissioners declared a state of emergency Sunday to coordinate recovery after roads were closed by high water.

Residents of a Hickory apartment complex evacuated to a temporary shelter at Catawba Valley Community College.