09/03/06 — Duplin's storm

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Duplin's storm

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on September 3, 2006 2:04 AM

KENANSVILLE -- Emergency workers used boats to rescue 50 flooded-out residents in the southern portion of Duplin County before 9 a.m. today.

They expected more flooding in the southern areas by this afternoon, and the possibility that even more residents will need rides from their flooded homes.

Duplin got between 6 and 10 inches of rain in the storm, which began late Thursday. Emergency officials said the heavy flooding started in the north end Thursday night and had scattered itself throughout the county by this morning.

The night "was rough," Duplin County Fire Marshal Linwood Kennedy said.

He said he and Northeast Fire Department Chief Walter Scott were in the field this morning doing boat rescues. Scott said they were rescuing people from localized flooding in places like Northeast Road, Wiley Creek Road, Hanchey Road and N.C. 41.

Nobody had been hurt so far this morning, but rescue workers were cautiously optimistic that the statistic would remain with more flooding predicted.

"All the water from the north part of the county will move this way," said Scott from a location about five miles outside Wallace. "We expect more here this afternoon."

Water was still rising around 10 a.m., while Duplin Emergency Management officials and Emergency Medical Services worked along with the Forestry Service to evacuate people from flooded homes along N.C. 41. Scott had set up a command center at his fire station, and all of the volunteers coming in on boats reported there.

The Northeast fire station also served as a temporary shelter until family members arrived to pick up their loved ones. A nearby church also opened up its fellowship hall.

Cooperative Extension Director Ed Emory was trying to find roads that were not flooded this morning to assess damage that was done to the corn, tobacco and cotton crops. He said he would be filling out a disaster report later today.

"Some lower bolls (of cotton) were beginning to open, and the excess moisture will damage them," he said. "Many of the roads are flooded, and that is making it difficult to find the damage."

The Department of Transportation reported this morning that water covered 36 roads in Duplin County, including I-40 near Wallace, N.C. 11 south of Kenansville, N.C. 24 east of Kenansville, N.C. 50 south of Kenansville, Bowdens Road between Warsaw and Faison and U.S. 117 between Wallace and Warsaw.

The Kenansville Highway Patrol office had troopers out this morning assessing the roads and had confirmed by 9 this morning that they found N.C. 11 and N.C. 41 near Wallace impassable. They said most of the road reports were related to locations in the Wallace area.