Local News

Wayne Watches Falls Dam

Posted February 9, 1998

— Solve one problem. Create another. Especially if you and your family are down stream and already knee deep.

Heavy rain raised water levels at Falls Lake near Raleigh. Engineers at the dam again released water to help Wake County, but that's causing problems downstream in western Wayne County which is still under water.

Early this morning, the Neuse River finally crested in Wayne County. Flooded highways and yards are beginning to re-emerge as the water slowly inches down.

However, these folks are expecting a rise in water over the next few days as engineers at Falls Lake release water in controlled intervals, spilling into the Neuse, and flowing downstream.

Right now, the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing 5,500 cubic feet of water per second from Falls Lake.

Colonel Terry Youngbluth makes the call to release the water. He says the dam actually lessened this latest flooding by holding back water during the worst of the rains. "Otherwise, that water would have flowed through the dam. If the dam wasn't there, the water would have flowed downstream and brought considerably more water in those areas."

Still, some homeowners find it hard to believe that the dam eases the burden. Some even suggest that the Corps releases water from Raleigh to protect expensive homes there, sending it east to less affluent rural areas.

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