After more than 70 years of a record standing, the Lower Little River at Manchester, NC has seen three record crests in a matter of two weeks. North Carolina has had a wet year to say the least, specifically in the eastern parts of the state. Cities like Fayetteville and Elizabeth City have seen nearly three times their average precipitation in the last month.
Between Tropical Storm Julia and a major flooding event at the end of September, parts of the state were inundated with water already. And then came Matthew. For days in advance, forecasters warned of the potential of flooding rains in North Carolina. By Sunday, totals had pushed 15-20″ in the Tar Heel State. At least 8 people died and nearly 1000 water rescues had to be performed in North Carolina.
— NC National Guard (@NCNationalGuard) October 9, 2016
Even though now Post-Tropical Cyclone Matthew is moving out to sea, the impacts of Matthew’s rains will still be felt in the coming days. All of the water has to go somewhere, and it ends up in local rivers and streams. The Lower Little River at Manchester saw quick and dangerous rises as Matthew moved through, feeling very familiar to what they saw not long ago. Before September, the record crest at this gauge was 29.0′ set back in 1945. On September 29, it jumped to an unprecedented 31.18′. After Matthew, the same spot jumped up to 31.36′ on October 9. After a brief lowering, it’s now crested at record levels again at 31.73′.
Lower Little River at Manchester
There are several other rivers in the area that have seen record or major flooding because of Matthew. Here are the forecasts for the Lumber River near Lumberton and the Tar River at Greenville:
Lumber River at Lumberton
Tar River at Greenville
Several other spots remain at risk for areal flooding in the coming days. The National Weather Service has issued multiple Flood Warnings to alert people of the possible dangers. Remember, ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown!’ Never try and drive through a flooded roadway.
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Karissa Klos