06/27/06 — Rain, rain might not go away in Wayne

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Rain, rain might not go away in Wayne

By Staff and Wire
Published in News on June 27, 2006 1:51 PM

Wayne County and surrounding areas were under a flash flood watch today as forecasts called for more rain.

The county received about 2.76 inches of rain Monday, giving Wayne a total of more than 10 inches in June.

Heavy rains in the past few days has led to flooding in the Piedmont and caused rough water at the coast.

The high water forced more than 200 people to evacuate homes and campgrounds near Asheville. Three people were rescued when their car hydroplaned into the Broad River near Bat Cave.

Strong surf resulting from the storms churned up killer rip currents along the coast. Rescuers pulled dozens of beachgoers out of the water over the weekend -- including more than 40 people on Wrightsville Beach alone.

The rain is part of a storm system sweeping across the East Coast. Storms caused flooding in the nation's capital, where high water forced the closure of the National Archives after the moat surrounding the building flooded.

Back home, the rain has flooded many low-lying fields in Wayne, creating headaches for some farmers. Although the corn crop is benefiting from the rain, cotton, tobacco and other crops are not faring as well. Too much water could delay the start of tobacco harvesting and could hurt the young cotton crop, farmers said. Corn has reached the tasseling stage and needs the extra water to make ears, but cotton and tobacco are more susceptible to drowning and disease encouraged by wet conditions.

No streets in Goldsboro were reported flooded Monday, and measures taken by the town of Mount Olive over the past year to prevent flooding seem to have worked. No streets were reported flooded, town officials said today.

Town Manager Charles Brown said a new holding pond near Crest Drive and a culvert near Breazeale Avenue have improved water management.

"The primary reason is that the rain's been spread out over a long enough period of time," Brown said. "For us, it's not so much the amount of rainfall, it's how fast the rain comes down.

"If we start getting it at 4 inches an hour over a sustained period of time, then we start to have problems. And we've been lucky so far that that hasn't happened."

Forecasters were calling for widespread showers or thunderstorms today, with potentially heavy rain possible. The chance of rain was 90 percent.

The expected rain forced the cancellation of a neighborhood meeting planned by the Goldsboro City Council for the Teakwood and Mimosa Park areas, city officials said today.

River watchers were expected to keep a close eye on the Neuse over the next few days. If heavy rains fall again near the headwaters of the river, it could lead to high river levels in Wayne County in a few days. The river crested last week at about two feet over flood stage following a 7-8-inch downpour earlier in the Raleigh area.