NC River Basins Flooding

NC River Basins Flooding From Hurricane Matthew

With North Carolina making the national news after the recent flooding from Hurricane Matthew here is some information about the different NC river basins. As of today eleven people in North Carolina have died due to drowning in the flood waters caused by Hurricane Matthew. The Fayetteville area received over 15 inches in one day. The Rocky Mount area received over 10 inches in one day from the hurricane. Many rivers in these areas are now in a major flood stage. Hundreds of people in Eastern North Carolina had to be water rescued this past weekend. They had to be water rescued from their flooded vehicles or by their flooded homes. Area law enforcement agencies as well as the Coast Guard were extremely busy rescuing people in need.

There are five flood categories: action flood stage, minor flood stage, moderate flood stage, major flood stage and record flood stage. Major flooding is catastrophic with life-threatening flood conditions taking place. At the major flood stage there is extensive flooding into low-lying areas. Structures are in risk of completed submerged. Large-scale evacuations may be necessary if the surrounding area is well populated.

Rocky Mount Dam Overflow

Rocky Mount Dam Overflow After Hurricane Matthew

The excessive amount of rain that was dumped by the slow-moving Hurricane Matthew this past weekend quickly filled up the rivers and feeding tributaries in several NC river basins. The recent rain before the hurricane had already filled many of the rivers, creeks, reservoirs and streams. Then with the additional rain during the hurricane these waterways quickly rose and started to spill out of their banks.

Tar-Pamlico River Basin

The Tar River is at major flood stage. Cities along the Tar River that are experiencing flooding are Rocky Mount,Tarboro, Princeville, Greenville and the empties into the Pamlico Sound at Washington, NC. There was major flooding in Rocky Mount but as of 10/11/16 the Tar River has crested and is now starting to go down. Flood waters are now going back down and many roads have reopened. The Tar River in Princeville and Greenville is predicted to crest Tuesday and into Wednesday. Princeville has been evacuated and well as some areas of Greenville in advance of the predicted crest level that may cause extensive flooding to the low-lying areas that are populated.

Neuse River Basin

Towns that are flooding in the Neuse River Basin due to the hurricane include Smithfield, Selma, Goldsboro, and Kinston. The Neuse River empties into the Pamlico Sound in the areas of New Bern. The Neuse River in Smithfield and Selma has come out of its banks and flooded many businesses. Downstream is Goldsboro and Kinston. The Neuse River in these town is predicted to crest in the next day. Extensive flooding is predicted. Many people are evacuating and packing up their belongings in their homes and business trying to save as much as they can before the flood waters come.

Water Rescue in Fayetteville Due to Hurricane Matthew

Water Rescue in Fayetteville Due to Hurricane Matthew

Cape Fear River Basin

The Cape Fear River is also a major flood stage. Cities along the Cape Fear River that are experiencing near record flooding. The Haw River feeds into the Cape Fear River. The Cape Fear River ends at Wilmington into the Atlantic Ocean. With so much rain from Hurricane Matthew Fayetteville is experiencing major flooding. Hundreds of water rescues took place when the quick rising waters spilled over the river banks and into the homes and business. Many disregarded the Turn Around, Don;’t Drown and attempted to drive through flooded roads. It takes very little fast-moving water to carry a car downstream. If the water it too deep water will enter into the intake valve causing the vehicle to stall. Once a vehicle stalls the driver loses any control of the vehicle. The vehicle will be at the mercy of the quick-moving water and it puts the passengers into extreme danger.


Lumber River Basin

The Lumber River flows in the southern section of North Carolina. The Lumber River flows through Lumberton and many areas of Lumberton were flooded with water rescues taking place Saturday night and Sunday during Hurricane Matthew.

NC Flooding From Hurricane Matthew

Thousands of people in North Carolina have been flooded, evacuated and rescued due to flooding from Hurricane Matthew. Estimated damage costs are well into the millions due to the flooding. There has been wide-spread structural damage, crop damage, road damage and loss of life. Interstate 95 had to be closed down and remain closed as of Tuesday in some areas due to flooded conditions or road damage. Numerous dams have given way from the stress of all the water. Eleven people have lost their lives as a result of this hurricane. Some people are still listed as missing.

The coast also took an unexpected hit. Extensive sound side flooding took place as well as beach erosion from hurricane force winds and heavy surf and high waves. The Pamlico Sound is at a higher than normal water level due to all the water that is being dumped into the sound by the flooded rivers.

Hurricane Matthew Headed to NC

Hurricane Matthew Headed to NC

Although Hurricane Matthew was a Category 1 by the time it reached North Carolina,  it was a huge and slow-moving storm. The amount of rain that fell during the slow-moving hurricane was the reason for the extensive flooding that North Carolina is still dealing with. With each hurricane that threatens the state, each one is unique and always unpredictable. Even the weather forecasters and meteorologists were surprised at the results of this hurricane and the flooding that resulted in the aftermath. Always plan for the worse and hope for the best.

Here is a link to an interactive map about the North Carolina river basins that is interest and educational. The interactive map is by the North Carolina Environmental Education site. Please visit the site and learn more about all the different North Carolina river basins in the state.

NC River Basin Map (from  NC Environmental Education)

NC River Basin Map (from NC Environmental Education)

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