Cumberland County remains under flood warning through Sunday

Posted September 29, 2016

— Police were asking Cumberland County residents to stay home Thursday night as flood waters that knocked out power and caused roads to close have forced the closure of Cumberland County schools for a second day.

Multiple road closures forced Harnett County and Moore County schools to delay the start of classes by two hours on Thursday. Cumberland County and Hoke County Schools announced the systems closed for the day and school officials with the Cumberland County School District announced that schools would remain closed Friday. Friday will be an optional teacher work day for staff members and all evening and athletic activities have been canceled.

Hoke County schools and Moore County schools will operate on a two hour delay Friday.

A flood warning remains in effect for Cumberland County until 6:40 a.m. Sunday.

Cumberland County issued a state of emergency that went into effect at 9:30 a.m.

A band of heavy rain spent much of the night hovering over Fayetteville—some parts of counties around the city received an estimated 6 inches of rain by Thursday morning.

According to Hope MIlls Mayor Jackie Warner, the site of the Hope Mills Dam project recieved about 7 inches of rain as crews worked to remove equipment from the area. The project team will assess whether construction can resume once the water subsides.

Crews in Hope Mills were also monitoring a 48 inch sewer line underneath the dam site as large amounts of waters continued to flow throught it. Warner declared a state of emergency for the town Thursday evening.

The Long Valley Farm Lake Dam at Carver's Creek State Park breached Thursday and rushing water began moving into Jumping Run Creek. Park officials said the breach in the dam was about 25 feet wide Thursday evening.

Spring Lake Mayor Chris Rey said Thursday night that he is hopeful the rest of the dam will hold up, otherwise rushing water could overtake homes in the Overhills neighborhood.

"If we lose any more trees that are really holding the earth, then it is really going to create an impact for people down stream," he said.

Emergency workers were keeping an eye on people living in homes near the creek and at least 50 homeowners in the Collingwood Street have been alerted to the situation by Emergency Services.

It was already too late to avoid flooding for people along West Manchester Road as water swirled inside Debra Ramirez's home.

"I have never seen the water come this high. Never," she said.

.The New Life Worship Center was also affected by flooding.

"It just blows us away," said Pastor Austin Swinson. "We put in a lot of hard work, a lot of time to get this ready but, like I say, we're going to survive."

The Rhodes Pond Dam in northern Cumberland County also saw waters rise above the top of the dam along U.S. Highway 301. Three residents there were contacted by Emergency Services and volunteer firefighters.

The Arran Lake Dam near Bunce Road and the Lake Upchurch Dam in Hope Mills were both being monitored for high water. No evacuations had been issued.

Fort Bragg released all service members at 10 a.m. and released its civilian workforce at noon, according to the base. Major roadways around the area are washed out after more than 6 inches of rain fell.

Fort Bragg will operate on a delayed schedule Friday. The start time for the civilian workforce was pushed to 8:30 a.m. while service members were told to report for duty at 9:30 a.m. Extra military police will be on hand to help drivers navigate roads that have been closed due to flooding.

The rain was caused by a stalled cold front slicing through the middle of North Carolina. Gardner said the air flow around the front was traveling from south to north—instead of west to east—which is not pushing the storms out of the area. That air flow could keep the storms around another day.

Residents around the region had to be evacuated as flood waters rose. Vicki Speranza-Cancio said she has never seen water come anywhere near her mother's house neat Little Creek, which was built in the 1960s. Her 88-year-old mother and brother were able to escape the home, but

"You can't go in the house anymore," Speranza-Cancio said. "The basement is full of water."

Cars in the near the intersection of of Ray Avenue and Maiden Lane in Cumberland County's Fesitval Park were mostly underwater around lunchtime. Rescue crews in boats could be seen navigating the waters.

Festival Park floodwater surround vehicles

A marginal risk for severe weather continues on Friday though they won't be as intense as Thursday's showers.

The storm should move out by the weekend, but a few showers can't be ruled out completely for the the Wide Open Bluegrass street festival.

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  • Barney Gravel Sep 29, 2016
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    Mother nature is an awesome beast, so do not drive through large areas of standing water.