Local News

Neuse River expected to overflow from Hanna's rain

Posted September 8, 2008 5:30 a.m. EDT
Updated September 8, 2008 7:10 a.m. EDT

— Parts of the Neuse River are expected to overflow the banks Monday. The river running through Smithfield is expected to crest above flood level, and Tropical Storm Hanna's rain is to blame.

Gov. Mike Easley urged caution on Sunday as rains dumped by Hanna pushed streams, creeks and rivers close to flood stage and threatened a water treatment plant.

A statement from the governor's office said major flooding occurred in Raeford but was not affecting homes or businesses. Officials said there also was minor flooding in Smithfield, Clayton and Manchester near Pope Air Force Base.

The Neuse River at Smithfield was expected to crest about 5 feet above flood stage Monday. That will cause local flooding on some streets and might affect a water treatment plant.

"Everyone needs to know that currents are still strong and hazardous in many areas," Easley said. "Please continue to be careful when driving and stay off flooded roads."

Hanna left some of its most dramatic damage in Moore County, where rains washed away part of the only road to a small community.

Waters tore away a 10-foot-wide section of Autumn Drive on Saturday evening, stranding about 80 members of the Riverbend community. On Sunday, flood waters were still inches from houses.

Six people canoeing Saturday night on the Haw River in Chatham County were dumped into the river when the canoe overturned.

Local authorities rescued four people, while the other two spent the night on an island in the river. They were rescued Sunday morning after the waters receded.

Easley said there have been no reports of major injuries or fatalities related to the storm. Damage assessment teams began taking inventory of the damage immediately.

State emergency officials were also monitoring conditions in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico to determine if North Carolina will be affected from other storms.

The National Weather Service reported 5.19 inches of rain at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, 4.62 inches in Fayetteville and 5.74 inches in Laurinburg. Rocky Mount received 2.57 inches.

The governor's office said that at the height of Hanna's run through the state, there were nearly 60,000 homes without power. There were 49 shelters open in 24 counties that served about 1,900 people, according to the governor's office.