Flooding last week forced the closure of Ferry Bridge Road in western Wayne County. It is expected to be closed again this week as the nearby Neuse River once again overflows its banks.
The National Weather Service in Raleigh has issued a flood warning for the Neuse River from Monday evening until further notice, or until the warning is canceled. Minor flooding is forecast.
As of 2 p.m. Monday, the river was at 17.7 feet. The flood stage is 18.0 feet.
The river will remain above flood stage at least through the weekend.
The river was expected to rise above flood stage by Monday evening and continue to rise to near 19.3 feet by Thursday morning.
At 19.5 feet, Ferry Bridge Road, which is located about 15 miles west of Goldsboro, begins to flood. In a few sections, the river is within just a few yards of the road.
“The only gauge in Goldsboro is over there on the southern connector (near the city’s waste treatment plant),” said Luther Thompson, state Department of Transportation maintenance supervisor for the county. “So when it hits 17 feet over there that is usually when Ferry Bridge goes under water.
“If it is calling for 19, then Ferry Bridge will be under water, again. I swear we can’t get rid of the water. I am ready for a dry period.”
Thompson said the road will be monitored and closed off once it is known that the water is coming up and will remained blocked until the waters recede, and it is deemed safe for traffic.
“Stop and turn around, don’t drive through water,” Thompson said. “That
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goes in one ear and out the other sometimes. They ride all the way down there and then realize, ‘Oh, it’s flooded, and it’s too deep for me.’”
More than half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous floodwater, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near floodwaters, since people underestimate the force and power of water.
Many of the deaths occur in cars swept downstream. Many of the drownings are preventable, according to the report.
Never drive around the barriers blocking a flooded road. The road may have collapsed under the water.
A mere 6 inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away most cars, and just 2 feet of rushing water can carry away SUVs and trucks.