Kinston park prepares as Neuse River rises

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The Parks and Rec Department in Kinston is getting ready for what could be a long couple of days. The Neuse River is already starting to spill over its banks, closing the campground at the Neuseway Nature Park.

Bobby Cox, a naturalist at the park, sets the scene: ”We’ve already got water that’s starting to move in so of course we’ve already moved all of the campers out and relocated all the picnic shelters, or the picnic tables up to higher ground.”

Cox, who’s been with the park since it opened in 1996, has been through this many times before. But with about 50 animals in the nature center on the park grounds, he and the staff aren’t his only concerns. Some of those animals live in enclosures in the basement of the center. Cox expects at least some water in the building before the week is out.

”The water level underground is gonna start to rise,” says Cox. “And when it starts to rise, it starts to fill up our basement. So of course, we have pumps down there ready to go.”

Cox doesn’t think he’ll need to relocate any of the animals but has a plan ready just in case. Current forecasts have the Neuse River cresting at just over 17 feet later this week. Overall, only minor flooding is expected in Kinston.

Towns along the Tar River and Contentnea Creek will also have to deal with some minor flooding through the weekend.
Download our free First Alert Weather app for live interactive radar and to track the latest forecast.

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