04/28/08 — Heavy storms rock parts of N.C.

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Heavy storms rock parts of N.C.

By Staff and Wire
Published in News on April 28, 2008 1:47 PM

Wayne County received between an inch and three inches of rain over the weekend and forecasters were calling for more before the night is over.

Rainfall estimates range from just over 1.23 inches at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base to three inches in some areas of eastern Wayne.

Agricultural Extension Agent Kevin Johnson said that 1.68 inches of rain was reported at the Goldsboro-Wayne Airport while 1.26 inches fell at Cherry Farms Research Farms.

The wet stuff was welcomed by both farmers and public water officials. Much of the state has been in the grip of a protracted drought, but several solid rains since the first of the year has eased the situation.

"When it rained, it came hard and it came fast," Johnson said of Sunday's rains. "It all fell real fast."

Another one to two inches are expected to fall throughout the day today, according to Mike Moneypenny of the Raleigh office of the National Weather Service. He said some areas might have received "a little more" than three inches on Sunday.

A break in the rain was expected around noon today with showers and thunderstorms redeveloping near sunset. Another one-half inch of rainfall is possible between 7 p.m. and midnight as a strong cold front moves through the area.

Moneypenny said Golds-boro had been the "bull's eye" for the heavier Sunday rains. Areas to the north and south of the city received less rain, he said.

Despite the heavy rain at times, no flooding was reported in Wayne.

Also, Johnson said as of this morning he had received no reports of crop damage. However, Johnson said that based on the rainfall amount that some damage to crop rows and standing water in fields could be expected.

Johnson said that Wayne County is "in good, good shape" in terms of rainfall for the year.

But he added that farmers don't want the heavy downpours since they tend to "pack the soil" and damage crop rows.

Goldsboro Public Utilities Director Karen Brashear said the rain is just another wonderful addition to the rains that the city has received so far this year, and she is excited to see the drops continue to fall down.

"Yippy skippy," she said. "Every inch sure helps. It's great."

So far this year, rain levels are over the average, she said.

The Neuse River's main source, Falls Lake, increased from 251.62 feet to 251.73 feet today, according to U.S. Geological Survey data.

Some of that water has already made its way downstream to the Neuse in Goldsboro, with the level of the river rising 1.3 feet from Sunday to today.

Mrs. Brashear expects more water to come flowing into the river in a few days, boosting the level even more.

Meanwhile in other areas, the National Weather Service has issued flood and tornado warnings for parts of North Carolina after storms dumped up to a half-foot of rain.

Several counties are under flood advisories. A thunderstorm brought penny-sized hail to Wendell, about 20 miles east of Raleigh.

Forecasters said Sunday night that radar indicated a tornado over Bailey, but that warning expired at 10:30 p.m.

Authorities in both Wilson and Nash counties reported no major damage.