09/01/06 — Power outages, flooding and gusty winds in Wayne

View Archive

Power outages, flooding and gusty winds in Wayne

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on September 1, 2006 1:49 PM

Wayne County Emergency Services crews were kept hopping overnight as heavy rain and gusty winds from Tropical Storm Ernesto made their way across the state.

Emergency Services Director Joe Gurley said the center of Tropical Storm Ernesto traveled between Goldsboro and Kinston causing the most damage in Lenoir County.

"Luckily, we were on the safer side of the storm's track," Gurley said. "Kinston got hit hard."

Wayne County did see its fair share of damages overnight, he added. About 2,300 residents lost power overnight and Emergency Services had 112 phone calls between 2 and 9 a.m. Another 159 emergency 911 phone calls were processed during the same amount of time.

At U.S. 70 West, just west of the Kangaroo convenience store near Perkins Mill Road and Claridge Nursery Road, the Cogdell Pond dam broke causing flooding on nearby land and roads, Gurley said. One lane of U.S. 70 West in the eastbound lane was closed as a result of the problem.

"A dam at the pond broke and washed out the road," Wayne County Fire Marshal Bryan Marshal said. "They are in the process of trying to repair it."

The eastbound lane of U.S. 70 west of Little River was closed this morning. Tree limbs and other debris were scattered about many roads in the county, Gurley said. More than 20 roads were affected by the storm, including parts of Wayne Memorial Drive.

"There were a lot of roads that had 2 or 3 feet of water, but they weren't what we call major arteries," Gurley said.

Gurley said drivers should avoid all closed roads because it is difficult to tell how deep the water is. It only takes one foot of moving water to carry a small car, he added.

"The good thing about this situation is, by lunchtime, everything will be back to normal," Gurley said.

Initial flooding estimates predicted a 21-foot crest at the Neuse River by Monday or Tuesday. Fortunately, Wayne and Wake counties did not receive as much rain as earlier predicted and those estimates should change soon, Gurley said.

Communities along the Tar River, such as Greenville and Kinston, won't be so lucky. These areas could see a large amount of flooding as rainwater travels down the river, Gurley said.