Storm whips up a frenzy

Published 8:46 pm Monday, April 16, 2007

By Staff
Rain, high winds keep officials busy
Staff Writers
A spring storm knocked out power lines and left some of the Pamlico River high and dry Monday, residents say.
A good portion of the Pamlico River was quite literally “gone with the wind” Monday when strong gales forced the water into the sound. At Havens Gardens the low tide exposed a variety of debris, including a picnic table.
Near the Roanoke Christian Service Camp off River Road the landscape was much the same, as broken bottles, ballast rocks and other items came to light. Area resident Beth Oden said that while she has seen the river level drop before, this was the first time she could recall it happening twice in one day.
She added that the debris on the river bottom would probably cause swimmers to think twice before wading into the water.
The rain also caused its share of problems.
The town of Plymouth experienced a wastewater spill Sunday totaling an estimated 3,300 gallons. The untreated sewage spilled into an unnamed tributary to the Roanoke River from the lift station at Golf Road after four inches of rain was received, the city reported.
The sewer lines in that drainage basin are among those scheduled to be repaired this year with grant funds recently awarded from the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund. The N.C. Division of Water Quality was notified of the event and is reviewing the matter. For more information contact the town of Plymouth public works at 793-1169.
High winds Monday damaged power lines in Washington and left some residents without power.
A tree caught on fire after the wind knocked it over into some power lines Monday at the intersection of River Road and Broad Creek Road around 11:45 a.m., said Bunyan Fire Chief Wes Williams. The tree was dead and because of that “it blew down quicker,” he said.
Firefighters with the Bunyan Volunteer Fire Department extinguished the blaze, after the power was cut off and the tree was removed from the line. “It was a real small fire,” Williams said.
Another outage was reported on Minuteman Lane, near 15th Street in Washington, said Operations Division Chief Robbie Rose with the City of Washington Department of Fire-Rescue-EMS.
Firefighters with the City of Washington “came in and secured the area to keep people from driving or walking up,” he said. “If it had resulted in a fire … we would have reacted to that accordingly.”
Electric Director Keith Hardt said the outages were “sporadic,” but “nothing major. He said city service officials responded to outages on Asbury Church Road, Macwoods and Minuteman Lane in Washington.
They were caused by fallen trees or large limbs as well as “lines hitting each other” because of the high winds, Hardt said. He didn’t know how many residents were affected by the outages, but described the damage as “minimal.”
The Pamlico River ferry could not operate Sunday and Monday because of the weather conditions, said Manager Cliff Swindell.
The ferry will be tied up until the wind changes directions and the “water comes back into the river,” he said.
PCS Phosphate employees, who use the ferry regularly to get to work, were “inconvenienced,” said Mike Gwynn, manager of public affairs with PCS. He said once the employees saw the ferry wasn’t running, they had to “keep on driving,” which would make their trip twice as long, depending on where they live.