ROCKY MOUNT — State officials are telling North Carolina residents to consider the eastern part of the state closed. TheState Emergency Response Teamand theNorth Carolina Highway Patrolare advising all citizens not to travel east of I-95.All primary and alternate roads are flooded.
In Edgecombe County, U.S. 301 is covered with water, and the Tar River is not expected to crest until Saturday.
Most of Rocky Mount is under water; people are stranded there without power or food.
One of the few stores open in town was swamped with people looking for the essentials.
Emergency Management officials say the county is using boats, helicopters and jet skis to assist and rescue people Friday morning.
The water is also rising on the Neuse River in Johnston County.
The Neuse River crossed over Business U.S. 70, the main route into downtown Smithfield, Friday morning.
Police sent motorists away from flooded businesses and homes and toward U.S. 70 Bypass. They also kept an eye on the water.
The Neuse is about a foot and a half below the projected crest of 27 feet. When it does crest, there could be problems at the bridge where the Neuse crosses the bypass west of Buffalo Road.
The water on the road appears to be rising about an inch an hour.
Folks along the Tar and Neuse Rivers can call the National Weather Service for the latest flood forecast information. Those numbers are(919) 515-8226 or (919) 515-8209, ext. 1.
While Wilson, Rocky Mount and Goldsboro are under water, the Army Corps of Engineers has issued a statement to dispel rumors about the dam breaking at Falls Lake.
The dam is intact and being inspected on an hourly basis.
No plans have been made to release water downstream until Sunday at the earliest, according to Lloyd Williamson, a project manager for the corps.
Williamson says no water will be released until flood waters downstream have receded.