Hurricanes

'Better than expected': Impacts from Isaias minimal in Fayetteville

Posted August 3, 2020 10:56 a.m. EDT
Updated August 4, 2020 5:23 a.m. EDT

— Fayetteville fared much better than expected as Hurricane Isaias moved north through North Carolina early Tuesday morning.

WRAL Bryan Mims reported the rain stopped by 2:30 a.m., and several roads that were expected to flood did not. Emergency Services Director Gene Booth said there were no reports of damage or injuries in Fayetteville during the severe weather overnight.

"This is not Matthew. This is not Florence. It's a high-wind event," said Booth.

Rain bands and strong winds up to 40 mph could be felt at times in and around the Cumberland County area. Conditions were expected to get worse into Monday night and Tuesday morning as Hurricane Isaias made landfall at Ocean Isle Beach after 11 p.m. and moved up the Interstate 95 area.

Heavy rain fell Monday afternoon in the Cedar Falls neighborhood. Along Bombay Drive, runoff reaches a creek that runs behind some homes. Residents were worried about what could happen should that creek rise.

Ken Pierce has lived in the neighborhood through Hurricanes Matthew and Florence.

"It floods every time," he said. "The first time, probably about 4 feet in the house; the second time it was about a foot or two."

Usually, the coast sees the worst flooding in a tropical event, but Isaias is expected to quickly move up the Interstate 95 corridor early Tuesday, impacting areas like Cumberland, Sampson, Duplin and Wayne counties.

On Monday morning, large traffic signs reading "Road Closed" were already sitting along the curbs in flooding "hot spots" like Raeford Road, Skibo Road and Ray Avenue, which crosses Cross Creek near downtown. Crews also removed extra debris from the side of the roads to prepare for possible street flooding.

By afternoon, Fayetteville Technical Community College had closed its campus.

WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said, since only several inches of rain will fall from Isaias, Cross Creek and other rivers like the Neuse, Cape Fear and Tar could rise to moderate or even major flood stages briefly but are not expected to flood.

Residents were encouraged to shelter in place Monday night through noon on Tuesday. If you see water on a road, turn around and don't try to drive through it.

Booth said the city is encouraging citizens to stay with family or friends, or check into hotels, if they don't feel comfortable in their homes.

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