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2010: Rain Events Are Reminder Of Hurricane Floyd: What About The Rivers?

Two waves of rain soaking Eastern Carolina are leading some down memory lane.

In 1999, multiple systems dropped substantial rainfall in Eastern Carolina. When Hurricane Floyd arrived on September 16, the already saturated ground, streams and rivers could not handle the huge amounts of rain.

The flooding that followed was catastrophic, essentially shutting down Eastern Carolina. The flooding took the lives of more than 30 people in North Carolina and caused more than a billion dollars in damage.

Here's a synopsis of Floyd's rainfall from the National Hurricane Center: "Heavy rainfall preceded Floyd over the mid-Atlantic states due to a pre-existing frontal zone and the associated overrunning. Hence, even though the tropical cyclone was moving fairly quickly, precipitation amounts were very large. Rainfall totals as high as 15 to 20 inches were recorded in portions of eastern North Carolina and Virginia. At Wilmington, North Carolina, the storm total of 19.06 inches included a 24-hour record of 15.06 inches."

Hurricane Floyd also brought big storm surges, as high as 9 to 10 feet along the North Carolina coast.

While the recent bouts of rain are causing dangerous conditions on roadways and problems in low-lying areas, the flooding is minor in comparison to Floyd.

Areas rivers may spill their banks at low-lying areas in the coming day, but only minor to moderate flooding is expected.

Most rivers, like the Tar, Pamlico, Roanoke and Cashie, are still so low that they are far from reaching even a minor flood stage, according to officials.

There are a couple of exceptions.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the following rivers: Northeast Cape Fear River near Chinquapin affecting Duplin County, Contentnea Creek near Hookerton affecting Greene County, Neuse River in Kinston affecting Lenoir County, Tar River in Greenville affecting Pitt County.

Flood stage for the Northeast Cape Fear River is 13.0 feet. It is forecast to rise above flood stage by early Friday morning and
continue to rise to near 15.8 feet by early Saturday afternoon. At 16.0 feet many secondary roads are flooded. Evacuations may be needed for residents who live near the river or adjacent to tributaries.

Flood stage for the Contentnea Creek near Hookerton is 13.0 feet. It is forecast to rise above flood stage by early Friday afternoon and continue to rise to near 15.7 feet by early Tuesday morning. Impact at 16.0 feet...Water will flood several homes downstream on the south side of the river in Lenoir County near Tick Bite. Minor flooding will occur in Grifton. Water will start to threaten Contentnea Creek Drive in Grifton. Water may also begin to threaten residents on Loop Road between Snow Hill and Hookerton.

Flood stage for the Neuse River at Kinston is 14.0 feet. It is forecast to rise above flood stage by Thursday afternoon and
continue to rise to near 17.3 feet by Wednesday morning. Impact at 17.0 feet...Widespread low land flooding adjacent to the
river can be expected. Camp grounds and picnic areas at the nature center in Kinston begin to flood.

Flood stage for the Tar River at Greenville is 13.0 feet. It is forecast to rise above flood stage by Friday morning and continue to
rise to near 14.9 feet by early Saturday morning. Impact at 15.0 feet...Low land flooding adjacent to the river can be expected.


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