11/26/06 — Neuse River expected to crest Tuesday

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Neuse River expected to crest Tuesday

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on November 26, 2006 2:00 AM

From staff and wire reports

The Neuse River level was at 20 feet on Saturday -- two feet above flood stage -- and was expected to crest sometime Tuesday at about 20.3 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

Ferry Bridge Road west of Goldsboro remained closed Saturday afternoon because of high water, but with no rain in sight, local authorities did not expect any significant flooding in the wake of last week's heavy rains.

At Seven Springs, the Neuse lapped at its banks and covered the boat landing at the Whitehall Bridge on Saturday afternoon, but it did not threaten any streets in the low-lying town. Many cotton and soybean fields near the river remained covered in ankle-deep water.

Meanwhile, in Duplin County, the Northeast Cape Fear River at Chinquapin crested on Friday at 17 feet -- about four feet above flood stage -- and was beginning to fall, weather experts said. The same area was hit by high water almost 7 feet over the river's flood stage in early September, after Tropical Storm Ernesto passed through, with several dozen homes damaged by floodwaters.

Craig Forlines, the Duplin County Emergency Services director, said no evacuations of flood-prone areas were made because "the folks that were affected by Ernesto are still out of their homes."

He said about 75 residents whose homes were substantially damaged by that storm have yet to finish repairs and move back in.

The Northeast Cape Fear's level was falling at Chinquapin today and the National Weather Service said it would drop to about 15 feet by midweek. Further downstream, it was expected to crest at 14.8 feet today at Burgaw -- almost 5 feet above flood stage, according to the weather service office in Wilmington. It is expected to crest at around 15 feet tonight.

The river "is real flat and it's pretty prone to flooding, and it's usually a pretty slow rise to crest and slow to recede," said forecaster Mark Bacon in the Wilmington office. "That sometimes can keep it in flood quite a while."

Minor to moderate flooding was expected over the coming couple of days along a number of eastern rivers, including the Tar at Rocky Mount and Greenville, the Cape Fear in parts of Bladen County and the Neuse at Kinston.

At Kinston, the Neuse was recorded at 18 feet on Saturday and was expected to remain at that level for the next several days.