06/15/06 — Small river rise expected here

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Small river rise expected here

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on June 15, 2006 1:50 PM

Wayne County residents can expect to see the Neuse River level rise to about 19.5 feet by Monday evening, which would be high enough to flood Ferry Bridge Road in the western part of the county, according to the National Weather Service.

Wayne County Emergency Services Emergency Medical Services Director Blair Tyndall said county residents should not be worried.

The river level is currently at about 9 feet and the Neuse's flood stage is not reached until 18 feet. Although it is true that Ferry Bridge would be affected if the river level reaches 19.5 feet, Tyndall said he doesn't believe it will happen.

"If it makes it way down from Raleigh, we have a lot of tributaries that can handle the water. People will see a rise, but not a major impact," Tyndall.

Heavy rain in the Raleigh area from the remnants of Tropical Storm Alberto flooded streets and roadways Wednesday in the capitol city. That water will be making its way downstream in both the Neuse and Tar rivers over the next several days, officials said. The recent spate of dry weather and the relatively low level of water in the rivers should mitigate the effect of the flooding downstream, they noted.

Weather spotters at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base said Goldsboro received about than 1.5 inches of rain Wednesday. Wind gusts of up to 31 mph were recorded.

Goldsboro and Wayne County officials said the local area avoided any major flooding problems. Goldsboro General Services Director Joe Sawyer said today that his office had been notified of only a few isolated instances.

"We've had some minor flooding at intersections and a report of a tree down blocking John Street," he said. "The water is draining slower than it normally does."

Rainwater from sudden downpours can back up and spill over into low-lying streets and intersections, Sawyer noted. Some flooding occurred Wednesday along Royall Avenue and Carolina Street.

In Mount Olive, the rainfall gave town officials an opportunity to test measures put in place since last summer, when heavy rains flooded some streets.

Town employees are currently constructing a retention pond near Crest Drive. A culvert near Piggly Wiggly on Breazeale Avenue has recently been completed.

Mount Olive Town Manager Charles Brown said the improvements helped drainage Wednesday.

A heavy rain Monday led to some flooded stretches along Crest Drive, Brown said, but no homes were damaged.

Brown said sometimes nature gets its way, no matter what precautions are taken.

"We'll do everything we can within our power, but look at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh and the resources that they've got to keep water out of there," he said. "You realize there's only so much you can do."