Some Towns Along the Neuse Could Be in for Flooding
Posted January 22, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
SMITHFIELD — The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings along the Neuse River in Clayton, Goldsboro and Smithfield, in fact, by 5 p.m. Friday, water was already spilling over the banks ofthe Neuse. A warning is also in effect for the Tar River in Tarboro.
In Smithfield, the Neuse's waters had risen over the banks by early afternoon, The NWS said the Neuse in that area was at about 6 inches above flood stage. At that time, the problem was in an area where there are no homes, but with continuing rains, the flooding could work its way south into populated communities.
Some homeowners along the Neuse are nervous. Johnston County resident Sheila Cuddington says she usually can't see the river from her house.
At this stage, there are only a few flooded fields and roads, but emergency crews expect more problems during the next five to six days as waters creep higher.
Johnston County is using radar in its 911 Center to keep problems. From their operations center, dispatchers can see where the heaviest rains are falling. Communications Director Al Gaskill says that helps them to predict where trouble spots will be.
Emergency workers say any flooding that comes won't be anything like the high waters they saw after Hurricane Fran. While that may be true, Cuddington says she can't help thinking about Fran as she watches the river rise.
Heavy rains have soaked the Carolinas leaving the ground like a wet sponge. A huge oak tree fell across a road in Charlotte.. taking down power lines with it. That brought the morning commute to a crawl for many drivers. One school had to be closed
In Fayetteville, creek waters are creeping up the banks to dangerously high levels. Cross Creek is one of several that emergency management officials say they will keep a close watch on over the next couple of days. So far, no flooding has been reported.