- Associated Press - Thursday, December 31, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Forecasters say showers are beginning to taper off in North Carolina after earlier heavy rains prompted the opening of emergency shelters and some evacuations.

Early Thursday, the National Weather Service said light rain would continue in parts of central North Carolina but that a flood watch for the area had been cancelled. Forecasters say rain won’t be falling heavily enough to create new flooding concerns and that rivers and streams would crest and begin to recede.

Firefighters in Gastonia said they rescued seven residents from a neighborhood near a creek on Wednesday. Officials in Chapel Hill said firefighters helped residents with a voluntary evacuation of an apartment complex and that a number of roads were closed. Surrounding Orange County planned to open an emergency shelter.

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