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Damage potential huge as Neuse River crests in Wayne Co.


The Neuse River crested during the past few hours Tuesday, rising to record levels.

As many as 131 buildings are potentially impacted. The damage toll could reach more than $1.2 million.

Power is slowly being restored in Wayne County but the floodwaters are sticking around after Matthew dumped 14 to 18 inches of rain on the area.

On Monday, Wayne County officials said the Neuse River was at 26.51 feet.

On Tuesday, it was running at more than 28 feet. Officials said Monday that they expected it to only drop to 27 feet and then remain at that level throughout the week.

“Don’t know when we’re going to get back, don’t know of an RV park around here that will take us,” Kathy Peoples said.

WATCH: Stranded in a parking lot, they can only wait

She and her husband were living in an RV park on Buscoe Beach when she said EMS came knocking on her door Saturday. They told them they needed to evacuate or their RV would be under water in a matter of hours.

“It terrified me to death, I been through hurricanes in my lifetime but I have never been through a flood like this, I have never in my life seen so much water so quick, so fast,” Peoples said.

For them, Hurricane Matthew hit twice. Their permanent home is in Jacksonville, Florida. Thankfully it escaped with only some damage, but then the storm met them in North Carolina.

Now they’re parked, with several other campers, in a Food Lion parking lot, waiting to go back home.

Also waiting in that same parking lot is Ronald Young and his dog. Young said the National Guard came knocking on his door and told him to evacuate.

“They said you have to get out and I’m like, ‘go where?’ ” Young said.

So for a day and a half, he and his dog have been living out of his SUV. He said he hasn’t been able to find an open hotel or a shelter that will take them both.

“It’s a horrible feeling; you’re stranded,” Young said.

County leaders say three Red Cross shelters are open with 110 people. They say residents who live in flood-prone areas who are considering evacuating are encouraged to do so sooner than later

The county closed U.S. 117 at 9 p.m. The southern connector Highway 581 is closed. However U.S. 70 and 795 remain open.

We’re told the Goldsboro Water Treatment Plant is currently safe, and the water quality in the city is safe to drink. Residents who live in water districts with boil advisories should continue boiling water out of precaution.

Power crews are working to restore electricity in Wayne County and the NCDOT is continuing to remove fallen trees along roadway. The county is under a state of emergency and there is a curfew in effect from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Wayne County Emergency Management is stressing that motorists who come across high water should turn around and not drive through it.

Earlier Monday, the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice evacuated Neuse Correctional Institution in Goldsboro.

A total of 797 inmates were safely transported by bus to other facilities within the state prison system. Neuse Correctional Institution is west of downtown Goldsboro, near the confluence of the Little River and the Neuse River. It is a minimum-security prison housing adult male inmates.

Also Monday, the City of Goldsboro asked some residents to voluntarily evacuate their homes because of the rising Neuse River.

Residents affected are those south and west of the following boundaries:

  • South Slocumb Street to Olivia Lane
  • Olivia Lane to John Street
  • John Street to Elm Street
  • Elm Street to George Street
  • George Street to Ash Street
  • Ash Street to Carolina Street
  • Carolina Street to West Grantham Street

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