Flood Watch: U.S. 264 between Greenville, Raleigh closed

STANTONSBURG, N.C. (WNCT) — After heavy rains brought excess waters to several rivers and creeks across the East, all eyes are now on the waterways.

U.S. 264 between Greenville and Raleigh is closed in Wilson County. The NCDOT estimates the road could be closed for a few days, although that is subject to change based on flooding.

The boat launch at the Town Common in Greenville is under water, which isn’t that unusual, but the water is expected to rise even more

The river right now is at just over 11 feet, and current projections have it cresting just over 19 feet, likely sometime this weekend.

Several townhomes right along the river, River Park North, and parts of the Pitt-Greenville Airport will likely end up under water by the weekend.

Erik Heden over at the National Weather Service, explained why the crest is so significant.

“Our forecast crest is around 19.6 feet, that’s roughly about 5 feet lower than Matthew,” said Heden. “It should not be as high as what we saw during Matthew; however, that would only be the sixth time that that river gauge has been in major flood category in the last 100 years,”

Although the flooding is not expected to be anywhere near as bad as it was after Matthew, the fact eastern North Carolina is dealing with major flooding again is significant.

Parts of Highway 58 in both directions near the Stantonsburg-Wilson city line were closed Wednesday due to high water levels from the Contentnea Creek, and a number of homes were evacuated.

The road closed around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

“I mean we knew it was a lot of rain,” said Walter Wheeler, who lives nearby. “But when I woke up at 3:30 this morning and just happened to walk out to the deck, I saw there was already two feet of water in the yard, so it’s like ocean-front property now.”

For Greene County resident David King, it’s an all too familiar feeling.

“Six months,” said King. “ It’s terrible. There’s nothing we can do about it. Just move stuff out.”

David King is just one of several people on Highway 58 moving out belongings after being told to evacuate.

Those just beginning to recover from October’s flooding are now fearful they’ll need to start over again.

“Hopefully it’s not going to get in the house, because we lost a house in October with Matthew,” said Wheeler.

Wheeler said losing items is the least of their worries.

“We’re safe,” said Wheeler. We can buy another home. We can buy another vehicle. So, that’s how I look at it.”

Greene County Emergency Management is monitoring water levels across the area and closing down roads that are unsafe to pass.

“It takes a lot to be able to get things in place, so we can make the citizens in the county safe,” said Berry Anderson, Greene County Emergency Management director.

 

For an update to date list of road closures across eastern North Carolina, check here.  

Gov. Roy Cooper is warning residents across the state to be cautious after the state’s heaviest rainfall since Hurricane Matthew. The biggest concern is rising rivers because the flooding from the Triangle is expected to drain into the Tar River.

Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas wants residents to be vigilant. He said it will take a major effort to prevent massive flooding in the future.

“We feel there’s an obligation in the Triangle, in the Triad, where water is,” said Thomas. “We are calling on federal and state officials now that we don’t want to wait for the next epic flood event, we want to see the Army Corps of Engineers clean these rivers out, clean these streams out.”

 

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