Bridge collapses just feet away from TV reporter amid flash flooding in North Carolina

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Tropical Storm Eta has killed at least seven people and left two missing as flash flooding in North Carolina caused a bridge to collapse near a TV news crew and a massive alligator roamed a Florida golf course.  

Parts of the Tar Heel state experienced torrential downpours and as much as 10 inches of rain inundated roadways on Thursday. 

And parts of Florida saw more than 13 inches of rainfall, prompting videos of people driving jet skis along residential streets in Miami. 

About two hours west of Miami, the Valencia Golf and Country Club shared footage of a gargantuan alligator wandering the premises amid the storm.

A massive alligator was filmed wandering the Valencia Golf and Country Club in Naples, Florida, as Tropical Storm Eta battered the coast 

Jeff Jones: 'I’ve been here a long time and I’m not surprised to see it walking across the golf course, I am a little surprised at how big it was'

Jeff Jones: 'I’ve been here a long time and I’m not surprised to see it walking across the golf course, I am a little surprised at how big it was'

Jeff Jones: ‘I’ve been here a long time and I’m not surprised to see it walking across the golf course, I am a little surprised at how big it was’

The reptile, with bulking legs and a mammoth torso, slowly ambles towards a lake that separates the golf course from residential home.

While spotting an alligator in Florida isn’t unusual for residents, employees were still shocked by its hulking frame.

‘It’s been a while since I’ve seen one that big, I was a little shocked,’ Jeff Jones, a staffer at Valencia Golf and Country Club, told New York Post

‘I’ve been here a long time and I’m not surprised to see it walking across the golf course, I am a little surprised at how big it was,’ he told The Post. 

The heavy rain in North Caroline came as Eta spiraled away from Florida, but left behind tropical moisture that mixed with a cold front to produce flash flooding. 

At least seven people have died due to dangerous flash floods in Alexander and Iredell counties, while two others are missing.

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office revealed on Thursday afternoon that the body of an 11-year-old-child was found in Rolesville. 

Witnesses said the child was playing near an overflowing creek when he drowned.

At Hiddenite Family Campground in Alexander County, authorities located three deceased bodies as they evacuated 33 people when the South Yadkin River overflowed.

One of the dead bodies was discovered in a camper. 

Firefighters with the Winston-Salem Fire Department arrive at Creekwood Apartments to assist with evacuations due to flooding on Thursday

Firefighters with the Winston-Salem Fire Department arrive at Creekwood Apartments to assist with evacuations due to flooding on Thursday

Firefighters with the Winston-Salem Fire Department arrive at Creekwood Apartments to assist with evacuations due to flooding on Thursday

The Charlotte Fire Department announced that 143 students and staff were removed from the premises and water levels rose

The Charlotte Fire Department announced that 143 students and staff were removed from the premises and water levels rose

The Charlotte Fire Department announced that 143 students and staff were removed from the premises and water levels rose

A search in the area continued Thursday evening for one adult and a one-year-old child.

In addition to the campground, a motorist traveling near Hopewell Church Road in the Vashti community died in a car crash due to a bridge outage and high water.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.  

Two other North Carolina residents were killed in a similar car crash in Alexander County. 

A passenger and a driver traveling in a Ford Ranger pickup truck were killed at 5.45am when their vehicle hydroplaned on Highway 115, New York Times reports. 

The Ford truck slammed into an oncoming Jeep Wrangler. Authorities to The Times that the Ford truck was driving too fast for heavy rainfall and neither men wore seatbelts.  

The deceased and missing individual’s identities have not been disclosed by authorities. The search will continue at 8am on Friday.    

‘Just massive amounts of flooding,’ Doug Gillespie, Alexander County director of public services, told Associated Press.

‘We’ve had approximately 50 roads across the county (which) have been compromised. Four bridges have been washed away.’ 

Pictured: Flooding in Iredell County, North Carolina

Pictured: Flooding in Iredell County, North Carolina

Pictured: Flooding in Iredell County, North Carolina

Pictured: Flooding in Iredell County, North Carolina

Pictured: Images shared by the Iredell Fire Department showed flooding in the area on Thursday 

A member of the Winston-Salem Fire Department's water rescue team unzips the life jacket worn by Isabella Molina's (right), 5, after bringing her from an apartment complex to drier land Thursday,

A member of the Winston-Salem Fire Department's water rescue team unzips the life jacket worn by Isabella Molina's (right), 5, after bringing her from an apartment complex to drier land Thursday,

A member of the Winston-Salem Fire Department’s water rescue team unzips the life jacket worn by Isabella Molina’s (right), 5, after bringing her from an apartment complex to drier land Thursday,

In Charlotte, where more than 4.5 inches of rain dropped in under six hours, the flooding caused charter school to evacuate. 

The Charlotte Fire Department announced that 143 students and staff were removed from the premises as water levels rose. 

Images taken from the charter school showed parked vehicles surrounded by murky water completely trapping cars.

Winston-Salem Journal reports that an additional 38 people were evacuated from Colonial Estates apartments, where nearby Mill Creek overflowed.

More than 35 people were saved in Mecklenburg County, and widespread damage was reported in Iredell County.

‘Even though the rain has stopped falling, the flood waters will continue to rise. Water will have to come downsteam and eventually in our area,’ wrote Iredell authorities.  

Iredell authorities reported multiple roadways were washed out, traffic accidents, flooding and even several cows found wandering in flood waters. 

 A total of 8.6 inches of rain fell in Rocky Mount, while 7.66 inches landed in Wilson.

In another shocking incident, Fox46 reporter Amber Roberts and photojournalist Jonathan Monte were forced to flee as a bridge in Alexander County collapsed live on-air. 

Fox46 reporter Amber Roberts and photojournalist Jonathan Monte were caught in a scary moment on Thursday when a bridge collapsed in Alexander County

Fox46 reporter Amber Roberts and photojournalist Jonathan Monte were caught in a scary moment on Thursday when a bridge collapsed in Alexander County

Fox46 reporter Amber Roberts and photojournalist Jonathan Monte were caught in a scary moment on Thursday when a bridge collapsed in Alexander County 

Both Amber Roberts and Jonathan Monte escaped to safety after the bridge collapsed in Alexander County

Both Amber Roberts and Jonathan Monte escaped to safety after the bridge collapsed in Alexander County

Both Amber Roberts and Jonathan Monte escaped to safety after the bridge collapsed in Alexander County

Pictured: Journalist Amber Roberts for Fox 46 in North Carolina

Pictured: Journalist Amber Roberts for Fox 46 in North Carolina

Pictured: Journalist Amber Roberts for Fox 46 in North Carolina 

‘Live on TV we saw the road collapse.’ Roberts says. ‘The same road we were just standing on, so thank god we’re backing up and we’re slowly going off of the bridge.’ 

Roberts and Monte were able to get to safety and were not injured in the incident.

Footage begins with Roberts reporting on the flash flooding near the Hiddenite Bridge when it suddenly split in half.

‘This is incredibly scary!’ Roberts yells as the bridge’s concrete and stone crumble into the rushing water underneath.

A woman who witnessed the collapse turns around in the distance and makes a made dash for safety.

Firefighters with the Winston-Salem Fire Department evacuate residents at Creekwood Apartments as flood waters rise on Thursday

Firefighters with the Winston-Salem Fire Department evacuate residents at Creekwood Apartments as flood waters rise on Thursday

Firefighters with the Winston-Salem Fire Department evacuate residents at Creekwood Apartments as flood waters rise on Thursday

Some parts of North Carolina on Thursday saw as much as 10 inches of rain after a moisture from Tropical Storm Eta mixed with a cold front

Some parts of North Carolina on Thursday saw as much as 10 inches of rain after a moisture from Tropical Storm Eta mixed with a cold front

Some parts of North Carolina on Thursday saw as much as 10 inches of rain after a moisture from Tropical Storm Eta mixed with a cold front 

The Winston-Salem Fire Department's water rescue team helps residents to drier land at an apartment complex Thursday

The Winston-Salem Fire Department's water rescue team helps residents to drier land at an apartment complex Thursday

The Winston-Salem Fire Department’s water rescue team helps residents to drier land at an apartment complex Thursday

Much of North Carolina remains under flash flood warnings. Flash flood watches have been placed along the mid-Atlantic coast from South Carolina to Virginia. 

Numerous roadways were blocked by high water and debris, which caused damage that will take a while to fix.

‘This is not going to be a two-day fix, a two-week fix,’ Gillespie told Associated Press. ‘It will be a months-to-a-year fix.’

Weather officials said the worst of the rainfall would leave the area after Thursday, but flooding would remain a problem.

Fortunately, any rainfall over the next few days will be light and allow for some of the floodwaters to dry.       

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