Local News

Tar River Continues to Rise; Minor Flooding Reported

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ROCKY MOUNT — People in Nash and Edgecombe counties are keeping a close eye on the Tar River. Some flooding is expected as the river reaches or exceeds flood stage.

TheNational Weather Servicehas issued a flood warning for the Tar River at Tarboro until 11 a.m. Thursday.

At 2:40 p.m. Wednesday, theTar River at Rocky Mountwas already at 18.09 feet -- more than three feet above flood stage.

Some low-lying farmland and riverside businesses can expect flooding. The river is expected to fall below flood stage by late Thursday morning.

Minor flooding is reported at Fishing Creek at Enfield. At 8 a.m., the National Weather Service reported the creek was at 17.40 feet. Flood stage there is 16 feet.

InTarboro, the Tar River was at 9.12 feet at 2:40 p.m. It is expected to crest at 17.5 feet Friday. That would be 1.5 feet below flood stage.

Significant rainfall was not expected Wednesday, and forecasters said any flooding would be minor.

Flood-weary people near the river are not taking chances -- they are paying attention.

"I just don't want anybody to lose anything else. We lost enough around this area," resident Mark Beard said.

When Hurricane Floyd's rains pushed the river over its banks last year, Carolyn Jones' home was underwater. She moved back in only three months ago. Sitting just a few hundred yards from the water, she is keeping an eye on river.

"I'm not that concerned, not yet," she said. "But, the way rivers are changing, you never know. In recent years, it's beginning to come closer more often."

The mid-week rise on the Tar River is the result of Monday morning's heavy rains that flooded parts of the Triangle north to the Virginia border.

Business owners in Chapel Hill spent Tuesday cleaning and totaling the damage from Monday's flooding. The creek that runs near the Eastgate Shopping Center caused most of the destruction, nearly wiping out some merchants.

The owner of one art gallery said he lost more than $75,000 in merchandise. Emergency management officials are still working on a total damage estimate.


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