People Along Lumber River Hoping for Best
Posted March 10, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
LUMBERTON — Some families may have to get out of the flood's way. Waters are again rising, and people are hoping it will go down before they do.
The Lumber River is inching upward and outward for the fourth time in a month. Rising waters are swallowing up more homes and overtaking more cars. Some residents have already packed up and moved to higher ground while others wade through the waters waiting for the flooding to stop.
Some areas along the Tar River look just as swollen. Low-lying streets have been closed off.
Traveler Ralph Adams said he and his wife had planned to get something to eat at Bob Melton's Barbecue in Rocky Mount, but they couldn't get in to the parking lot.
The restaurant is barely staying afloat. High water isn't unusual in this low-lying spot, but this flooding came close to causing serious damage. Owner Tommy Smith says water came within a foot of entering the restaurant, which was just completely remodeled after Hurricane Fran caused extensive interior damage.
The high water record is intact. Hurricane Fran left her mark and it would be tough to beat. Still, the most recent high waters raised concerns for awhile. Smith says that's life on the river. He expects the restaurant to open Thursday.
The Tar and Lumber rivers are not expected to crest until Thursday afternoon, although some people say the waters were beginning to recede Wednesday.
Last month, flooding got so bad in Robeson County, it was declared a disaster area. Back in February, the county became eligible for federal disaster aid.