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Evacuations ordered in Spring Lake, Vass with threat of Woodlake Dam failure


State Dam Inspectors and Moore County Officials have announced the imminent breach of the dam at Woodlake in eastern Moore County causing as much as two to three feet of additional flooding to downstream communities in Moore, Hoke and Harnett counties. A flash flood warning has been issued for the surrounding area.

Here’s what you need to know Tuesday:

  • Evacuations in Spring Lake, Lumberton, Princeville, Kinston, Lenoir County, Vass and Goldsboro

  • A boil water advisory has been issued for Fayetteville, Johnston County, Sanford, Lee County, Spring Lake, and parts of Wayne County.

  • 11 people in North Carolina have died. Three people are still missing.

  • 3 parts of I-95 remain closed in Fayetteville/Lumberton area due to flooding, 1 part of I-40 near Benson also closed

  • Eastern towns could experience flooding throughout the week. Kinston expects the worst it’s ever seen.

  • Around 400,000 are without power across the state
  • Officials are assessing dam overtopping, breaches and failures throughout the state, particularly in Hoke, Moore, and Bladen counties.

Monday night, the Town of Spring Lake issued an immediate, mandatory evacuation order to residents and businesses along the Lower Little River downstream from Woodlake, to include the following areas in particular: the Bragg Estates community on Vass Road, residents on West Manchester Road from the old Fort Bragg Water Treatment Plant to NC Highway 87, and the Riverside Mobile Home Park along the Lower Little River in Spring Lake.

Spring Lake Fire and Police Departments are going door to door to inform residents and businesses. The Spring Lake Evacuation Shelter remains open at the Town of Spring Lake Recreation Center, 245 Ruth Street, 910-436-0011, ext. 1701.

WATCH: Joel Brown reports from Moore County

The Moore County Sheriff’s Office advised residents to evacuate South of Highway 690 from Morrison Bridge Road down to Riverbend Drive, which includes Riverbend, Riverview Acres and Lobelia neighborhoods in Vass. Residents in Sinclair are not in the evacuation zone at this time.

WATCH: Residents downstream of Woodlake Dam told to evacuate

Earlier Monday, Gov. Pat McCrory said there have been 11 deaths in North Carolina from Hurricane Matthew. Three people are still missing – the number is down from five after two people in Fayetteville were accounted for Monday morning. Officials say most of the dead died when rushing flood waters swept their cars off roads.

WATCH: ABC11 reports from Fayetteville and Lumberton

During a news conference, the governor also said water from the Lumber River poured into Lumberton early Monday leaving about 1,500 people stranded. Helicopters and boats were used for rescues. Mandatory evacuations have also been ordered for Kinston and Lenoir County in low-lying areas along the Neuse River.

Get the latest breaking news updates on the ABC11 news app

On Monday afternoon, McCrory received a federal disaster declaration for 31 counties, opening the door for further federal assistance to recover from the massive flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew.

“A lot of people are hurting right now in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew and the devastation is beyond words,” McCrory said. “This expedited declaration will help provide much needed and immediate federal assistance to communities impacted by Hurricane Matthew. I want to thank our federal partners for approving this declaration quickly and for their continued assistance.”

Counties approved for the disaster declaration include: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Lenoir, Nash, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Robeson, Tyrrell, Washington, and Wayne counties.

The declaration also approved 10 counties for individual assistance to help homeowners and renters repair or replace damaged homes. Those counties include: Beaufort, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Hoke, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt, and Robeson counties.

McCrory has warned that the dangerous flooding will continue to be an issue this week after Matthew dumped torrents of rain on our state over the weekend – creating the worst flooding since Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

“North Carolina is resilient, our people are strong and we are going to get through this together,” said Governor McCrory. “This storm is still impacting people in a big way. You have got to see it to believe all the devastation that has occurred.”

Kinston could face the worst flooding it has ever seen, according to McCrory. There were also evacuations in Princeville and voluntary evacuations of low-lying Goldsboro.

Stay on top of the storm, download the ABC11 News App

As of Monday morning, over 400,00 are without power in North Carolina – down from a peak of more than 770,000 homes and businesses on Sunday.

Gov. Pat McCrory tours Matthew damage in Fayetteville

McCrory said the most recent storm-related death was in Gates County when a 75-year-old man was discovered inside his car.

Earlier, the NC Highway Patrol said a woman died when a vehicle was swept off Monzingo Road in Pitt County.

In Johnston County, a woman died when the car she was in was swept off Interstate-95 at mile marker 83 near Four Oaks.

Also in Johnston County, Highway Patrol said five people travelling on Cornwallis Road near NC-42 were swept off the roadway. Four of the passengers escaped and were able to cling to nearby trees. The fifth person was carried away and died, troopers said.

McCrory said one person in Sampson County and two people in Bladen County have died as a result of the storm. The first person was killed when their car hydroplaned. The two in Bladen died in a flooded vehicle.

The Harnett County Sheriff says a person drowned after they drove past a barricade near Carolina Drive and was swept away into a creek. Sunday afternoon he was identified as 74-year-old Charles Luther Strickland of Dunn. His body was found in the vehicle after it was pulled from the water.

Another person died in a storm-related fire in Rowan County.

Three people are still missing – one person in Johnston County and two in Fayetteville. Authorities say 43-year-old Boris Abbey and 45-year-old Christy Woods were reported missing related to Matthew.

Many residents are also dealing with downed trees and power lines.

Rainfall of 5-8 inches fell around the Triangle and 10-15 inches from Fayetteville to Goldsboro.

There have been dozens of water rescues across central and southern North Carolina as roads flood and homes become inundated.

Interstate 40 is closed in both directions between I-95 and the NC-242 interchange. I-95 is closed in Cumberland County. Dozens of smaller roads are closed across the region.



ABC11 Meteorologist Don ‘Bigweather’ Schwenneker said even though it’s going to be dry for the week ahead, it’s going take time for all this water to move away. “We still have roads underwater and areas where the water is not draining due to debris” Bigweather continued, “If you see water over a roadway, you need to treat it seriously and don’t drive through it!”

WATCH: Hurricane Matthew’s strong winds at the NC coast

Flooding is still a concern in the Sandhills. Officials are asking people to stay home if they can and to never drive through water over the road.

Read more: Hundreds of rescues in Fayetteville

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is also warning residents about scams connected to Matthew.

RELATED: North Carolina officials warning residents about Hurricane Matthew scams
The Red Cross has shelters open across the state.


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