07/28/05 — River level OK

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River level OK

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on July 28, 2005 1:49 PM

Despite the recent stretch of hot, dry weather the Neuse River is at an acceptable level and Goldsboro is not considered to be in a drought, say city officials.

"We were listed as being in an abnormally dry area a few weeks ago," said Karen Brashear, the city's public utilities director. "But that's changed and the Drought Monitoring Council isn't showing us in a drought area."

An abnormally dry classification is just one step away from normal conditions.

According to the North Carolina Drought Monitoring Council, dry weather is measured in stages: normal, abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought and exceptional drought.

Ms. Brashear said Wednesday that the river level is currently at five feet, two feet higher than it was two weeks ago.

"The rain we had last Friday raised the levels to 8.3, and it's dropped back some," she said.

The state maintains a gauge near the bridge on Arrington Bridge Road that measures the river level. The information is fed daily into a computer. Ms. Brashear monitors the computer readings, but she said city officials also keep an eye on the river themselves.

"We go out and look around, make sure that the reading is accurate," she said. "We're just fine on the water level."

The drought council monitors the state's water levels weekly, and the forecast for this area calls for improving conditions.

"And August is typically a wet month," Ms. Brashear noted.

The city is planning to dredge soon around the intake area for the city's water supply, she said.

"We'll dredge to make sure it's clean. It's a precautionary measure," she said. "But right now the water is a little too deep to do that."