Between April 23 and April 25, North Carolina was inundated by what Governor Roy Cooper described as “rainfall like we haven’t seen since Hurricane Matthew.” As much as 9 inches of rain has been recorded, prompting flood warnings in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Rocky Mount, Goldsboro, Tarboro and Smithfield, which remained in place until April 26. Additionally, there were “eight primary routes and 109 secondary routes impacted by high water in North Carolina” and Interstate 795 in Wilson County was closed. One death was reported due to the flooding. According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, a woman drowned after driving past barricades and into floodwaters in Greene County.

National Guard response vehicles stationed for response during the 2016 flooding (Army Staff Sgt. Jonathan Shaw)

While the rain has stopped, increased flooding remains a concern. The Tar River is not expected to reach its peak of 30.5 feet until April 29. During Hurricane Matthew the river reached 36.2 feet; 32 feet is the major flood stage and 19 feet is the normal flood stage. In response to the rain, Edgecombe County declared a state of emergency and closed schools through the 28th. Princeville, which is located in Edgecombe, is one of many towns that continues to struggle with the damage left by Hurricane Matthew. Prior to this most recent round of flooding, Princeville homeowners were considering a federal buyout. It is yet to be determined how the recent floods will impact Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts.

Sources and Further Reading:

  1. Flooding Continues in Eastern North Carolina – Spectrum News
  2. Cooper Urges North Carolinians to Be Careful of Flooding – North Carolina Department of Public Safety
  3. The Latest: North Carolina Governor Warns of Flooding Risks – U.S. News & World Report
  4. Woman Drowns After Driving Through Floodwaters – ABC11 Eyewitness News
  5. Edgecombe County Braces as Tar River Rises – CBS North Carolina
  6. Surging Tar River Continues to Rise – Rocky Mount Telegram
  7. ‘There’s No Room:’ Dozens Still Homeless After Matthew’s Devastation – WRAL
  8. Princeville Residents Get Details about Buyouts, Elevations, or Repairs – CBS North Carolina