Fayetteville Spared From Widespread Flooding

Sep 21, 2018

Fayetteville City Engineer Giselle Rodriguez assesses storm damage and high water marks in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
Credit City of Fayetteville

Wind and water from Hurricane Florence damaged approximately 1,200 buildings in Fayetteville, but city officials say the town was spared from widespread flooding.

“The vast majority of the damage that we’re seeing is caused by the wind effects of the hurricane, not flooding,” said Development Services Director Jerry Newton.

Newton said residents are “pleasantly surprised" given the dire forecasts ahead of the storm.

The Cape Fear River crested on Wednesday at nearly 27 feet above flood level, but Newton said river levels were not as high as after Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

“It’s generally about a foot lower, which has been a tremendous difference in terms of impact to houses,” he said.  

Newton credits a combination of dry ground, slow rains, and good preparation for preventing more extensive flooding.

“While we had 15 inches [of rain], that 15 inches didn’t all dump on the city at the exact same time, it came in waves,” he said. “The overall system seems to have done very well.”

He said residents with wind or flood damage should contact their insurance companies.

More than 70,000 parcels of land in Fayetteville have been inspected since the storm hit. Damage assessments are 95 percent complete, Newton said, though there are still a few areas officials have been unable to reach.