Northeast Cape Fear River closed amid flooding

Posted October 3, 2010

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— The Northeast Cape Fear River was closed to all boat traffic in Pender County Sunday as other rivers continued to rise and crest above flood stage in eastern North Carolina.

A rainy week capped by the passage of Tropical Storm Nicole's remnants Thursday dumped between 5 and 23 inches of rain across eastern North Carolina. Runoff was continuing to swell creeks and rivers, creating widespread flooding.

Pender County Emergency Management Director Tom Collins announced Sunday that the Northeast Cape Fear River was closed to boat traffic from Lane's Ferry bridge along N.C. Highway 210. Public boat ramps and access were also closed.

Wildlife officers were patrolling the river to enforce the closure, Collins said.

The Northeast Cape Fear River was at 15 feet around noon Sunday, five feet above flood stage. The river was expected to crest Sunday and start gradually falling Monday, but the river didn't fall below flood stage in the U.S. Geological Survey's forecast that runs through Friday.

Flood warnings remained in effect Sunday for a dozen other counties as well.

In hard-hit Windsor, which was covered in flood waters, the Chasie River had fallen nearly a foot below 12-foot mark at which parts of downtown are flooded. While it's falling, the river isn't expected to go below flood stage until Tuesday morning.

Moderate to minor flooding was also occurring along:

  • Swift Creek in Craven County
  • Neuse River near Goldsboro, Kinston in Lenoir County and Fort Barnwell in Craven County
  • Northeast Cape Fear River near Chinquapin in Duplin County, Burgaw in Pender County
  • Lumber River near Lumberton in Robeson County
  • Trent River at Pullocksville and Trenton in Jones County
  • New River at Gum Branch in Onslow and Pitt counties

Some evacuations might be needed in the Hughs Plantation Farms and Trent Acres neighborhoods in Pollocksville, along the Trent River.

High tides could also push up the Cape Fear River in Wilmington Sunday evening and Monday morning. That could push up to a foot of water onto Battleship Road and several inches on Water Street.

Residents of Carteret, Dare and Hyde counties were also warned that flooding could occur along the southern Pamlico Sound.

All interstates remain open, but the N.C. Department of Transportation reports that dozens of roads and bridges remain closed throughout eastern North Carolina.

Eight people died in storm-related wrecks. Five relatives died after their vehicle hydroplaned in Washington County, one fatality was reported in Pamlico County, and two more were reported in Dare County.


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  • TechRescue Oct 5, 2010

    Could be several reasons:

    * Debris piles up against bridges, creating "strainers". Extremely dangerous to anyone that gets stuck in one. Clearance is also a problem on bridges upstream.

    * new "shoreline" undoubtedly covers a lot of hazards to navigation.

    * Bottom line is (I bet) they're trying to keep as many sightseers off the river as possible. Resources are undoubtedly stretched thin trying to manage the event, and the last thing they need is some cerebrally-challenged person who thought it would be fun to check out the river screaming about being stuck under a bridge or in a strainer because he hit a stump.

  • ghimmy51 Oct 4, 2010

    Can someone educate me why the river is closed? Bank erosion? Dangerous currents? From the photo it doesn't seem either are possible. I know from experience when a river floods it can have a lot of debris floating downstream, but that's only a hazard to props.

  • laneymatthew Oct 4, 2010

    It's the "Cashie River" (Ka-Shy) not "Chasie River"