BREAKING NEWS|Significant, potentially dangerous flooding seen in Washington

Published 7:25 pm Thursday, September 30, 2010

By Staff
Staff Reports
Significant flooding was affecting Washington during rush hour Thursday, and rescues were reportedly taking place as some motorists’ vehicles stalled in high water.
Beaufort County government and the City of Washington declared a state of emergency during the early evening. Officials declared all roads within the city closed, as well as N.C. Highway 33 between Chocowinity and Core Point Road.
The state of emergency was effective as of around 6 p.m.
Residents who are displaced as a result of the flooding are asked to call Beaufort County emergency management at 946-2046, said County Manager Paul Spruill.
“We haven’t had too many displacements,” Spruill said.
Spruill said the county would open P.S. Jones Middle School as a shelter effective at 7 p.m.
“Portions of Highway 33, Highway 92, and Highway 264 are impassable,” reads a news release from the county. “Many vehicles have already been abandoned and drivers risk being stranded given current conditions.”
All Beaufort County Schools will be closed Friday, said spokeswoman Sarah Hodges.
A stalled car was seen on Pierce Street, and drivers appeared to be having difficulty maneuvering on 15th Street as standing water piled up between the curbs by 5:19 p.m.
Standing water was also a problem on Lawson Road in the Smallwood subdivision, and the community’s Reed Drive had been turned into a veritable swift-current river. A few residents of the community stood on their front porches and in their front yards, staring in apparent disbelief at the rushing torrent.
A civilian blocked part of 13th Street to prevent cars or trucks from passing, evidently to avoid wakes kicked up by passing conveyances as water rose around houses.
Scanner reports indicated water was encroaching on homes around the city, but those reports couldn’t be verified immediately.
Authorities urged people to get home as quickly and safely as possible – and remain there until the flooding subsides.
Few further details were available.