Triangle dries out after Hanna's flooding

Posted September 7, 2008 8:15 a.m. EDT
Updated September 7, 2008 7:14 p.m. EDT

— Although flooding from Tropical Storm Hanna remained a concern along some rivers in North Carolina, much of the Triangle and the state dried out and set about repairing storm damage Sunday.

Flood warnings were in effect for a handful of counties, including Cumberland County – where the Little and Cape Fear rivers were both over flood stage Sunday evening.

Minor flooding from the Little River was reported along Manchester Road in Fayetteville, near the Fort Bragg water treatment plant.

Worried about the possibility of water contamination, state officials said Saturday they are also watching for flooding along the Neuse River near a water treatment plant in Johnston County.

Hanna left some of its most dramatic damage in Moore County, where rains washed away a road that serves as the only access to the Riverbend Community in Vass, trapping hundreds of people Saturday night.

On Sunday, the water rushing through the neighborhood was inches from some houses.

State Forestry Service laid down a portable log mat bridge over Autumn Drive for emergency vehicles. Patty McQuillan, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, said that bridge would stay in place until a permnant one could be built.

However, McQuillan said it was too soon to know when work on the new bridge might begin.

Moore County officials said the road is private property and is not the responsibility of the county or state.

Ligon Middle School will be closed Monday due to a power line failure related to Hanna, Wake County Public Schools officials said in an e-mail Sunday. Power should be restored and Ligon returned to its normal schedule by Tuesday.

A Raleigh homeowner began getting a fallen tree removed from her front lawn – and the back of her Lexus sedan.

Winds and rains toppled the tree along Woodburn Road, near Cameron Village, Saturday morning. The tree also brought down a power line, and residents said a transformer exploded around the same time.

"It was a loud explosion and, you know, the big bright lights," Ben Pinkerton said. "But when we were out here, we're looking at the power lines, and you could see the transformers explode kind of going down toward Cameron Village.

By Sunday, flood waters in other areas of central and eastern North Carolina were receding or already dry.

Homeowners returned to Rose Lane, where a foot of Walnut Creek flowed over the road and threatened to trap in residents of 40 homes once authorities closed the dead-in street. About two dozens residents left overnight.

Chawtha Prince said she was the first to get in her car and leave after authorities warned residents. Prince found soot and debris on her front yard when she returned home.

Prince pointed to the source of the neighborhood's troubles: "A pond over there. Normally, it's dry, but yesterday it was flooded."

Crabtree Creek, near U.S. Highway 70 in Raleigh, rose more than 12 feet following Hanna's visit Saturday, causing concern at nearby Crabtree Valley Mall. The area was dry by Sunday morning.

Festival Park in Fayetteville was also under water Saturday but had reopened Sunday, police said.

Rain also flooded Fallon Park in Raleigh and the Chapel Hill Country Club in Orange County, among other locations, but authorities reported no other problems in those areas or others Sunday morning.

Hanna sent bands of heavy rain throughout eastern and central North Carolina dropping anywhere from 2 to nearly 6 inches. Raleigh received 5.19 inches of rain; Chapel Hill, 4.96 inches; Fayetteville, 4.61 inches; and Goldsboro 2.39 inches, according to official rainfall totals from the National Weather Service.

The storm also brought strong winds into the state, knocking out power to more than 60,000 people, mostly along the coast. Service had been restored to most customers by Sunday morning.

Hannah, meanwhile, rolled into Connecticut Sunday and was expected to continue drenching New England with heavy rain. As of Sunday, the tropical system had maximum sustained winds near 50 mph and was centered 60 miles north of Chatham, Mass.

No major damage has been reported up north, but the storm was responsible for flooding highways, delaying flights and halting the U.S. Open tennis tournament. Thousands of customers remain without power, mostly on Long Island.

All eyes now are now on Hurricane Ike, as concerns mount of the Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds. It roared into the Bahamas Sunday morning.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Ike was expected to move over eastern Cuba Sunday night and into central Cuba by late Monday on a track that will likely take it over the Florida Keys into the Gulf of Mexico.