09/11/08 — Neuse River expected to crest today

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Neuse River expected to crest today

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on September 11, 2008 1:34 PM

The rising Neuse River is expected to crest late today after a double whammy of heavy rains in the past week.

Broadhurst Bridge

News-Argus/Bonnie Edwards

The Neuse River is seen upstream from the Broadhurst Bridge this morning. The river is at its highest level in months.

Tropical Storm Hanna precipitated the lion's share of the high tide as it crossed eastern North Carolina on Saturday, dumping 3.5 inches in the Wayne County area, and, more importantly, just as much rain upstream.

More locally, a heavy thunderstorm Tuesday poured another 3-4 inches on most of the county in a matter of hours. And another half-inch fell Wednesday.

According to the National Weather Service, the river level will crest at 15.8 feet tonight. The service's Web site indicated that it was at 15.3 feet at 8 a.m. today.

The river, which has been low for months as the state suffered through an extended severe drought, was only eight feet high on Sunday but observers had been waiting for the effects of Hanna to take hold.

More rain is forecast for the rest of the week. The Weather Service is calling for a 50 percent chance of rain today and Friday, with the chance dropping to 40 percent on Friday night. The weekend is expected to be cloudy but no rain is forecast for the Wayne area.

The river's height is expected to level off at about 13 feet by Sunday.

The Neuse is considered in flood stage when it reaches 18 feet.

In recent history, the river reached its lowest point at Goldsboro, according to the National Weather Service, when it dropped to 2.1 feet in September of 1980.

It reached its highest recorded level at 28.85 feet on Sept. 20, 1999, following the deluge wrought by Hurricane Floyd.