Major Flooding, Evacuations Possible in Tarboro, Windsor, Greenville as Rivers Crest
By Ford Porter, nc.gov
Following unusually heavy rains across the state, the Governor is urging North Carolinians to watch for flooding in low-lying areas, avoid flooded roads, and stay tuned to local weather forecasts.
“In the past 24 hours, we’ve seen rainfall like we haven’t seen since Hurricane Matthew,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We know floodwaters can be deadly and I urge everyone to be cautious and stay safe.”
Unofficial amounts of rainfall range from 3.5 to 5.5 inches in the foothills, to between 5 and 8.5 inches of rain across the Piedmont and 4 to 5.5 inches of rain in coastal counties.
Governor Cooper is receiving regular updates from state Emergency Management and Transportation officials.
Officials are monitoring several dozen flood gauges for minor to major flooding that will continue, in some areas, through Friday. Some of the more critical spots currently include Hominy Swamp near Wilson and Crabtree Creek in Raleigh.
Major flooding is expected along the Neuse River later tonight near Clayton and tomorrow morning near Smithfield. The Cashie River near Windsor will experience significant flooding through Thursday morning that could impact several properties in low-lying areas. Moderate flooding is expected today along the Yadkin River at Yadkin College. Moderate to major flooding is expected along the Tar River in Tarboro and Princeville (peaking Friday afternoon) and Greenville (peaking Sunday morning). The Neuse River near Goldsboro also will see significant flooding, peaking Sunday morning.
By 11am, transportation officials were reporting nearly 100 storm-related road closures across the state including I-95 South in Wilson near the US 264 interchange. A detour for the interstate is in place and officials expect to reopen the road this afternoon. Meanwhile, numerous roads are closed in Johnston, Wake, Wilson, Durham, Rockingham, Stanly, Yadkin and Iredell counties including:
- US 264 west in Zebulon
- US 15 in Creedmoor
- US 301 in Lucama and Wilson
- US 421 (Horner Blvd.) in Sanford
- US 70 west (Glenwood Avenue) in Raleigh
- NC 211 in Wilson
- NC 97 in Raleigh
Emergency officials urge residents to follow these safety tips:
- Move to higher ground when flash flood warnings are issued. Don’t wait for instructions.
- Never drive into flooded areas or across flooded roads. If you cannot see the road, it may not be there.
- Do not walk through moving water. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult.
- Follow detours and obey traffic barricades that close off roads.
- Never park or camp along streams, rivers or creeks.
“With rain like this, small creeks and streams can suddenly become raging torrents,” Gov. Cooper said. “Avoid flooded roads, heed warnings from emergency officials, and be prepared to evacuate quickly if you’re asked to.”