05/03/17 — County to see impact of dam release

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County to see impact of dam release

By Steve Herring
Published in News on May 3, 2017 9:57 AM

Wayne County should expect to see the impact of the water release from the Falls Lake dam on Thursday.

"Then we will just see a steady level at the Neuse over the next two weeks," Wayne County Office of Emergency Services Director Mel Power told Wayne County commissioners during their Tuesday morning session. "They plan on releasing for about two weeks."

The county has been provided a schedule of the planned releases, Powers said.

The Army Corps of Engineers is currently flowing 4,000 cubic feet per second with a planned increase to 6,000 cubic feet per second today, Powers said.

"That is contingent on what the downstream waters are looking like," he said. "I can tell you their plan is to keep everybody under moderate flood stage."

In Wayne County the moderate flood stage is 20 feet, he said.

As of 6 this morning the river was at 21.41 feet, down from a Sunday crest of 24.88 feet.

The county remains under a flood warning until 4 a.m. Saturday.

"We feel confident we will be under that moderate flood stage before we start to see any impact of waters coming out (of Falls Lake)," Powers said.

The river should not go above 20 feet because of the release, he said.

"The OES staff has been real busy for the last week and a half," Powers said. "The weekend before last we had 36 hours of constant rainfall. In the county we averaged anywhere from 2 inches of rainfall in the southern end of the county to as high as 9 and 10 inches in the northern part of the county.

"What hurt us is that Johnston County really got a lot of water."

The Little River is receding, having crested at Princeton early last week at 14.3 feet, Powers said.

"That doesn't sound like a lot, but it is a record flood for Princeton," he said. "The record on that gauge was 13.9 foot, even during (Hurricane) Matthew. So they actually received more water in the Little River basin in Princeton than they did in Matthew."

It travels downstream and Capps Bridge Road went under as did Claridge Nursery Road, which has reopened, he said.

The Little River is drained out so the county should be good on that, Powers said.

The Neuse River crested mid-afternoon Sunday at about 24.88 feet, he said.

"We are steadily dropping," he said. "We do believe Seven Springs crested sometime last night (Monday). We have a hard gauge at the bridge. It was registering 21.77.

"This morning (Tuesday) at 7:30 it was at 21.72. So we are trying to be optimistic that we have crested overnight in Seven Springs so the water should start going down."

The high water that covered some city roads has receded, but several county roads remained closed this morning because of flooding.

They are:

* Ferry Bridge Road near Old Smithfield Road.

* Lassiter Road near Old Smithfield Road.

* Slick Rock Road near Rock Road.

Nor-Am Road near Union Cove Church Road is closed because the bridge approach was damaged by flooding.

Pecan Road near N.C. 581 is closed to repair damage caused by flooding.