Neuse River could reach third-highest level ever

Neuse River could reach third-highest level ever

Southwest Creek near Southwest Christian Church - photo by BJ Murphy/Neuse News

The Neuse River continues to rise and residents are urged to remain sheltered.

As of noon, the river has reached 21.49 feet according to the National Weather Service. Projections from the NWS has the river rising to 25.1 feet, which would be the third-highest recorded measurement.

Hurricane Matthew in 2016 caused the Neuse River to peak at 28.31 feet, while Hurricane Floyd pushed the river 27.71 feet in 1999.

Kinston Mayor Don Hardy said he encourages the public to stay vigilant and adhere to the county-wide curfew that's still in effect, which runs from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.

"We've got some areas shut off throughout the city and others to come because of what could take place," Hardy said. "The levels will rise even further late at night, so it can be extremely tough. If you live in those flood-prone areas, hopefully you've already left. If not, call the EOC, dial 911 or get someone to help you.

"The curfew is still in effect, so don't venture out at night. We ask everyone to obey the curfew and keep safety in mind, not just for the citizens, but the first responders and our utility guys working on power lines."

Lenoir County Chairman Craig Hill said Hurricane Florence has differences from Matthew, but the citizens must remain aware of any possible shifts. 

"We need the people to remain sheltered and away from danger," Hill said. "This storm's is so unpredictable -- the places that flooded last during Matthew flooded first with Florence -- so we ask everyone to go toward higher ground.

"The city's done a good job restoring power to those in need. We've seen some businesses open and we've set up our portable hospital at South Lenoir because of some concerns in the area. Our neighbors in Jones County have been dealing with a lot of rain. We're in pretty good shape because of our planning, but we've got a long way to go."

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