09/10/08 — Quick, heavy storms cause some flooding

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Quick, heavy storms cause some flooding

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on September 10, 2008 1:38 PM

A heavy thunderstorm pounded Wayne County late Tuesday, dumping nearly 3 inches of rain in an hour, filling ditches, flooding some streets and roads and soaking residents unfortunate enough to get caught in the downpour.

Storm Flooding

Goldsboro Police Officer A.P. Tilghman, blocks off Royal Avenue near Spence Avenue Tuesday. A late afterrnoon thunderstorm stalled over Goldsboro, dumping several inches of rain in a short period of time, causing some street flooding, officials said.

According to weather spotters at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, 3.57 inches of rain fell during the day, starting in mid-afternoon.

More rain was forecast for the rest of the week, with an 80 percent chance of rain today and a 50 percent chance Thursday and Friday.

Combined with the rain from Tropical Storm Hanna, which blew through the county over the weekend, more than 6 inches of rain have landed in recent days, adding to concerns of flooding.

Brandon Vincent, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh, said slow moving air currents at high levels allowed the storm to settle over the area, resulting in the downpour. The service issued a flash flood warning for Wayne and nearby counties.

He said the storm was just one of several scattered storms to cross the region.

Emergency Services Director Joe Gurley said the warnings were expected, but that there's not a real concern of river flooding at this time.

"Whenever the ground's saturated and you have quick downpours, that's always a concern," he said. "We're going to be monitoring the river levels and rainfall in the Neuse River basin. But we haven't been notified of any riverine (river flooding) concerns."

And so far this morning, Goldsboro city officials said they'd only had reports of temporary, localized street flooding Tuesday evening, and that Stoney Creek was just beginning to barely run over its banks.

"It was a heavy rain," City Manager Joe Huffman said. "It looked like it was heavier probably than with the tropical storm."

Among the streets that experienced flooding were Ash, Slocumb, William and Bunche Drive.

"All the usual streets experienced some flooding yesterday (Tuesday)," said Neil Bartlett, director of Goldsboro's general services department. "We just had so much rain in such a short period the drainage system couldn't handle it all, but once the rain stopped, all the water seemed to go away pretty quick."

The biggest problem, however, Huffman noted, was standing water in roadside ditches and in people's yards -- a situation not helped by the debris left over from Hanna.

"I've noticed some people who are putting debris in the street. It's supposed to be on the side of their yards. When you put it in the street near the storm drain, that just makes the problem worse," he said.