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Major flooding not expected in area

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Donald Kay Ham takes pictures of the Tar River after Hurricane Florence on Saturday at Battle Park.

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Monday, September 17, 2018

While keeping a wary eye out for flash flooding in low-lying areas, Twin Counties officials don't expect massive river flooding as was the case two years ago in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Rainfall flowed through the Tar River in the days after Matthew moved on in mid-October 2016, flooding parts of Tarboro and inundating Princeville. But there shouldn't be an encore presentation from Florence, according to emergency management officials.

"The Tar River basin didn't get anywhere near the rain other parts of the state got or what we got in Matthew," said Edgecombe County Manager Eric Evans. "The river in Tarboro is expected to crest Wednesday well below flooding concerns."

Rocky Mount officials share that assessment.

"As of now the river gauges are well below flood stage," said Tameka Kenan-Norman, the city's chief communications officer.

But while the Twin Counties appear to be out of the woods on river flooding, much of the state is in deep trouble and transportation officials are asking folks to stay put a little longer.

As of Sunday, there were more than 600 road closures across the state, said Steve Abbott, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

While residents may feel the need to check on homes and vacation properties in Eastern North Carolina, they likely will impede state and local response and recovery, Abbott said.

Flooding in many areas across the state is unprecedented and road conditions are changing rapidly, said state Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon.

“If you are not in an evacuation area, stay in place,” Trogdon said.

While some areas might reopen some local roads and bridges later today, travel from central to southeastern North Carolina is dangerous and unreliable.

By traveling in potentially hazardous areas, drivers are putting themselves and others at risk and impeding access for critical personnel — emergency services, utilities, road crews — responding to the storm.

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