Weather

Creeks across the Triangle spill over banks in summer storm

Posted August 13

— The heavy rain that pummeled the Triangle Tuesday night left a mess in low-lying areas where creeks surged out of their banks.

Faviola Cruz, of Jerry Drive in Cary, said the water was as high as she's ever seen it.

"It's getting worse and worse," she said.

Her home didn't flood, but the rushing water ripped away the skirting on her home and others in her neighborhood along Walnut Creek.

The area is a federally designated flood zone. Under rules adopted by town leaders in the 1990s, no new construction can be built in the area. But that doesn't help Cruz or her neighbors whose properties pre-date that restriction.

Guadalupe Reboler said he thinks the landlord, the Mobile Estates Company, should do something about the flooding or move the homes.

"They told the owner, but the owner hasn't given us a response whether to move the trailers or put up a wall or something," he said.

Steve Brown, water resources director for the Town of Cary, said the property owner is working on a solution.

Elsewhere in Cary, rising water washed over greenway trails. Black Creek Greenway and Oxford Hunt Greenway in Bond Park are closed until further notice so crews can repair the damage.

In Raleigh, the Milner Inn on Capital Boulevard suffers from a similar situation. It predates city rules for building in flood-risk areas and is a known problem spot.

On Tuesday, about 25 people were forced out of the hotel when Crabtree Creek sloshed inside. A day later, the parking lot was dry and staffers were cleaning up while the creek was back to a trickle.

Over 50,000 gallons of sewage spilled into creeks in Raleigh and Durham due to heavy rain:

  • More than 20,000 gallons spilled into Crabtree Creek in Raleigh.
  • 12,000 gallons spilled into Walnut Creek in Raleigh.
  • 900 gallons spilled into Wildcat Branch in Raleigh.
  • Approximately 18,000 gallons spilled into a tributary of Northeast Creek in Durham.

The spillage into Crabtree and Walnut creeks was caused by excessive rainfall within a 30-inch sewer line, officials said. The spill into Crabtree Creek was reported at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and stopped by 1 a.m. Wednesday, officials said. Sewage spilling into Walnut Creek was reported at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday and was stopped within two hours.

The overflow into Wildcat Branch was caused by a buildup of rags within an 8-inch pipe, which utility crews have since cleared, officials said. The spillage into Wildcat Branch was reported at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday and was stopped by 8 a.m.

Sewage overflowed into a tributary of Northeast Creek in Durham due to lightning damaging the utility power feed, pump control system, automatic transfer switch and emergency generator at the Scott King Road pump station, officials said. Sewage vacuum trucks and a diesel pump were used to transport the sewage. Wastewater on the ground was pumped back into the station’s collection system, and the area was treated with lime, officials said.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources was notified of the spills, officials said.

5 Comments

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  • pedsrndad Aug 14, 1:37 p.m.

    You knowingly moved in to a flood plain area and now you want someone to "fix" your problem? You want a wall at a cost of at least hundreds of thousands built? I suppose you would like the taxpayers to foot the bill and not pay higher rents or fees to take care of a situation you knew might happen?

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Aug 13, 5:30 p.m.

    Praying for all the wee beasties that have to live with that.
    Why is heavy rain not prepared for in sewage matters? We DO get it here, especially during hurricanes and such.

  • KnowsItAll Aug 13, 4:56 p.m.

    this is nothing compared to what Duke Energy is dumping into our waterways

  • heard-it-all-before Aug 13, 4:50 p.m.

    sorry downstream readers, nothing to see here. move along now.

  • SomeRandomGuy Aug 13, 4:24 p.m.

    These aren't closed systems?!