Pitt County emergency responders prepare for Tar River to crest

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Pitt County Emergency Management officials are preparing for the worst of the flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, as the Tar River is expected to crest Friday.

The most recent levels show the Tar River at 23 feet as of early Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service expects it to crest at 25 feet sometime later in the day Friday.

County Emergency Management leaders say this will essentially separate the northern and southern parts of the county, so they’ve called in additional resources, including military vehicles.

“For emergency purposes, we will actually be able to taxi or ferry things from the north side to the south side if all the roads are indeed impassable,” said Pitt County Emergency Management Director Allen Everette.

The Tar River is expected to stay above major flood level for at least a few days, so it could be several days before the river returns to normal and people can return to their homes.

There are now 5 shelters open in Pitt County: E.B. Aycock, Wellcome, Hope, and Ayden Middle Schools, and North Pitt High School. That’s as many as the Red Cross had to open during Hurricane Floyd.

County Emergency Management leaders say they’re running out of space, but not for people.

“The county’s animal shelter is pretty much tapped out and maxed out in terms of the number of animals we can take. We’ve actually even entered into an auxiliary place where we’re housing animals due to the flooding. We would encourage anybody, if you absolutely do not have to bring your animal to the shelter, do not,” said County Manager Scott Elliott.

They’re working to make more space for animals, but ask people to call before coming to check if there’s still room.

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