Local News

Corps of Engineers Releases More Water From Falls Lake

Posted September 23, 1999

— Friday, theArmy Corps of Engineersreleased more water into the Neuse River. They let the water out of Falls Lake so the next major storm does not lead to an uncontrollable overflow.

The release will reach Smithfield Saturday, and the water will be in Goldsboro in four days. However, parts of Goldsboro are still flooded.

The Corps of Engineers started releasing water from the Falls Lake dam around 8 a.m. Friday.

They will gradually increase the flow to 4,000 cubic feet per second by Sunday. That is only about two-thirds the maximum flow let out duringHurricane Fran.

In one Wayne County community, Mar Mac, Arthur Chambers is packing up and moving out. He cannot believe that the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing more water into a river that has already destroyed so many homes.

"There is nothing we can say about it that can change what they are doing. They are going to do it anyway. It's going to create problems for people, and they know it," said Chambers.

The Corps says it will take at least four days for the water to get to Wayne County, and it should not cause more flooding or keep the Neuse from receding.

"We're walking a tightrope here at Falls Lake trying to do the best we can to prevent damages downstream and still get ready for upstream floods that may come," said Lloyd Williamson of the Army Corps of Engineers.

As she cleans here mother's flooded home, Bridgette Daniels says she understands why the Corps is releasing more water.

"If they didn't let it out, it may burst and make things a lot worse down here," said Daniels.

Daniels adds that even if the dam release does prove damaging, it does not matter.

"We've already lost everything anyway. It can't hurt anything," said Daniels.

The Corps says they need to make the release now to make room in case the area gets another hurricane or tropical storm.

The Corps of Engineers also points out that without the dam, the flooding fromHurricane Floydcould have been a lot worse.

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