Heavy rains creating drainage problems in Spring Lake neighborhood

Posted February 17, 2021 7:43 p.m. EST
Updated February 17, 2021 8:21 p.m. EST

— The Cape Fear River in Fayetteville was under a flood warning Wednesday night, with more rain forecast in the coming days.

Water was rapidly approaching the bottom of the train tracks that cross near Person Street in Fayetteville. A boat ramp near downtown is underwater, and the stage of an amphitheater on the riverbank is submerged.

The flood warning remains in effect at least through Thursday morning, and when the Cape Fear River rises, so does the potential for flooding in other areas of Cumberland County.

"It's a very scary situation for me," Violet Santos said after the back yard of her Spring Lake home flooded and water started flowing into the crawl space under her house.

"I just bought this house April of last year, and I'm afraid it's going to get into the house, and all the boards under the house, my flooring, will be shot," Santos said.

Fredy Rhodes, who lives nearby, said that his front yard gets flooded whenever there's heavy rain for a couple of days.

"We get water all the way up to my cars. The road floods, [and] the cars that come through here will spin out," Rhodes said. "People drive up through my yard to get through the intersection."

Santos said no one told her she was in a flood-prone area when she bought her house.

"They did not make me aware of that. This is the second time the water's up underneath my house," she said.

Many of the homes in the neighborhood are still recovering from flooding caused by Hurricane Florence, but the current flooding is blamed on a storm drain that's backed up.

Jason Dunigan, a maintenance manager for the state Department of Transportation, said the area where the drain is supposed to empty into is basically standing water now from recent rains.

"There's really no where for the water to go," Dunigan said, adding that it will be at least a week before the drainage problem can be fixed.

"Everything is so saturated, we need a drying period so that we can get that equipment off the roadway, onto the shoulder [and] into the ditches and do that work," he said.

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