Princeville residents worried about another flood

Residents say the town can't handle more flooding
Published: Jun. 19, 2020 at 12:10 AM EDT
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PRINCEVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -The town of Rocky Mount has seen wide spread flooding over the past couple days due to an increased amount of rain taking the Tar River from 6 feet deep to 27 feet.

This has been causing issues in Rocky Mount as well potential for more flooding in surrounding towns.

Princeville, a town prone to flooding, is one of those. It has experienced two major floods, Hurricane Floyd and Hurricane Matthew, and some residents said the town can’t handle anymore rising waters.

In 1999, Hurricane Floyd caused the town of Princeville to be completely covered with water, and a levee built after that didn’t protect the town from Hurricane Matthew’s floodwaters in 2016.

Doristine Wiggins was there for both of the floods.

”I lost everything over there in the 99 flood. And during Matthew, I think that was 2016, I lost my home,” Wiggins said.

But she said she isn’t leaving, this is her home.

According to WITN Meteorologist Phillip Williams, the current hydrology forecast for the Tarboro/Princeville area has a Crest early Saturday at 25.2 feet.

This would be similar to the February 12th moderate flood earlier this year. It would be the 26th largest flood, in the area, but still considered moderate.

Commissioner Alvin Jones said he remembers the town being underwater.

“The last flood we were involved in has several water rescues and what sticks out the most is the towns resiliency, our ability to come back in spite of the chaos,” Jones said.

Princeville firefighters also remember the floods.

Jeffery Perkins and Lamean Godwyn had to rescue residents and evacuate people during the floods.

Williams said he thinks the crest in the Princeville area will be a little higher than the forecast since Rocky Mount ended up 2 feet higher than the forecast for that city.

Princeville’s last recent crest was February 12th when the river was around 25 feet deep.

Williams said If Princeville does get 2 feet higher than forecast, then it would be the 17th highest flood and nearly 10 feet lower than when it flooded during Hurricane Matthew and 14 to 15 feet lower than the Hurricane Floyd flood.

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