Flooding swamps motorists

Published 6:48 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Staff Writer

Much-needed rain fell on Beaufort County on Monday — too much of it, too fast.
Drenching downpours snarled traffic and caused vehicles to stall around Washington, and a wet highway may have played a role in a two-vehicle accident east of the city.
Residential flooding was common throughout Washington, and several cars stalled as their drivers tried to motor over submerged streets, according to Lt. William Chrismon with the Washington Police Department.
“We do encourage people not to drive through the high water,” Chrismon said. “If you can’t see where the road is, don’t drive through it.”
A two-vehicle wreck sent three people to Beaufort County Medical Center on Monday afternoon, reported Trooper Charles E. Ashley with the N.C. Highway Patrol.
The accident occurred when the driver of a 1995 Chevy S-10 lost control of the pickup truck while driving over railroad tracks on U.S. Highway 264 near Lizzard Slip Road, Ashley said.
The S-10, its tires slick from the rain, veered into the path of a 2005 Chevy Silverado, colliding head-on with the with the other truck, the trooper said.
Among the six charges filed against the driver of the S-10 were alleged violations involving faulty tires and driving left of center, Ashley said.
Monday’s deluge covered streets from the Smallwood subdivision to the city’s historic district, causing headaches for motorists from Reed Drive to Main Street.
Ann Smith, a patient representative with Caring Hands Medical Supplies, watched a half-submerged vehicle stall near her office off Carolina Avenue on Monday morning.
The washed-out vehicle was towed away, Smith said.
Smith said flooding is common around the medical-supplies complex, which stands across the street from Bojangle’s, near the intersection of Trade and 13th streets.
Asked which local flooding incident was the worst in her five years of service with Caring Hands, Smith said, “That one today looked pretty bad.”
Other than Washington’s flooding, no weather-related problems were reported in Beaufort County by early afternoon, related John Pack, the county’s emergency-management coordinator.
“Other than that, we’re doing pretty good,” Pack said.
The National Weather Service advised a cold front would move through the area today, bringing “widespread rainfall amounts of 1.5 to 3 inches,” and possibly localized flooding.
The weather service’s radar, available on the NWS website, indicated western Beaufort County had received 2.5 to 3 inches of rain by 1:30 Monday afternoon, with lesser amounts farther east.
More heavy rain was expected through the latter part of the week, with “significant flooding” potentially part of the outlook by Thursday, the weather service said.