Flooding threatens areas of the county

Published 9:54 pm Monday, October 10, 2016

Rising floodwaters in western Beaufort County, the cresting of the Pamlico River later this week and watching public water supplies are the focus of state and local emergency-management officials in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

On Monday, Beaufort County Emergency Management issued an advisory, urging people in the northwest area of the county, especially in the VOA Road area, to evacuate because of increasing floodwaters, expected to reach major flood stage Wednesday or Thursday.

“Our focus is the continued evacuation and support of people along the VOA Road, Tranter’s Creek, and assessment of structures that have been flooded,” said John Pack, Beaufort County’s emergency-management director, on Monday.

River levels in eastern North Carolina will rise this week and remain elevated well into next week, according to a briefing Monday by Lara Pagano with the National Weather Service office in Newport.

Although flooding in some areas of the county may have subsided in the immediate passing of Hurricane Matthew, western areas of the county will experience increased flooding as stormwater runoff from the Tar River, Tranter’s Creek and other waterways move downstream, Pack said.

At 11 a.m. Monday, the Tar River at Greenville was at 19.7 feet. Flood stage in Greenville is 13 feet. The river is expected to crest at about 25 feet Wednesday. The Pamlico River from Washington toward the Pamlico Sound is expected to experience widespread flooding beginning Wednesday. The Pamlico River at Washington was at a 3.54-foot flood stage as of 6 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

In the wake of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, the Pamlico River at Washington crested at 8.14 feet. Emergency-management officials are keeping a close watch on public water supplies.

“We need everybody to conserve water, use as little as possible,” Pack said. “Right now, we’re trying to get the generators in here, but we’re having to get creative on how we’re going to get them here.”

Late Monday morning, U.S. Highway 264 between Greenville and Washington (at Tranter’s Creek) was closed, as was U.S. 264 at Bath and at Pantego. Other road closings in Beaufort County include all or sections of the following roads: Cherry Run Road, Turkey Trot Road, VOA Road, Baseline Road, Free Union Church Road and Terra Ceia Road.

Beaufort County Health Department employees have been checking with restaurants and grocery stores to find out what they are doing with food they have on hand. Places that have generators providing power may operate as usual. Places that don’t have generators are required to discard food after power is lost for eight hours or more.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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