Local News

Minor Flooding Forces Residents From Homes

Posted November 23, 2006 3:14 p.m. EST
Updated November 24, 2006 4:59 a.m. EST

— Minor flooding in parts of the Craines Creek watershed in Moore County prompted an unexpected change in Thanksgiving plans for some local residents on Thursday.

The area received up to 6 inches of rain in the past few days, flooding the nearby Little River. Thursday's overflow was the result of water being released from nearby Wood Lake, which town officials said was necessary to keep the local dam from breaking

At some residents' homes, water from the creek was close to doorsteps and rising quickly, in some areas by as much as 2 feet within an hour.

Although the town did not issue any mandatory evacuations, officials advised residents that the flooding could get worse. Firefighters went around to area homes advising people about leaving.

"The danger's there, you know," said Craines Creek Fire Department volunteer Robert Fowler. "Nobody can tell you what Mother Nature's going to do. We'd rather be safe than sorry."

Emergency officials said they were ready to help more residents leave and to make rescues, if necessary. A total of eight houses were evacuated by the afternoon.

"I have a raw turkey. I'm just going to stick it back in the refrigerator," resident Terri McCaffrey said. "There's nothing I can do for it today. Thanksgiving's been ruined."

McCaffrey said Thursday's flooding marked the third time this year they she had to leave her home because of flooding.

Elsewhere across the state, trouble brewed in river basins as the rainfall moved downstream. Several rivers were forecast to reach flood stage through the weekend.

In Duplin County, the community of Chinquapin braced for major flooding along the Northeast Cape Fear River. The same area was hit by high water almost 7 feet over the river's flood stage in early September, after Tropical Storm Ernesto passed through.

Forecasters also expected the Lumber River to crest near Lumberton at about 16.7 feet by Thursday evening -- almost 4 feet above flood stage.

Minor to moderate flooding was expected over the coming couple of days along a number of eastern rivers, including the Tar at Rocky Mount and Greenville, the Cape Fear in parts of Bladen County, and the Neuse at Kinston.

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