Kinston Wants Help To Prevent Flooding

May 2, 2017

The mayor of Kinston wants the N.C. Legislature and U.S. Congress to help prevent future floods as the Neuse River crests from more heavy rain.

The Neuse is expected to crest in Kinston Wednesday at 23 feet, and comes less than seven months after record flooding from Hurricane Matthew. 

Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy said the town needs preventative measures for a disaster that has become too common in Kinston.

"It was only a rain event.  When we look back at our history, they're not going to be able to say it was Hurricane Fran, Floyd or Matthew for this," he said. "It was, 'Hey, it rained in April of 2017, and we've had one of the top six worst floods Kinston has ever seen.'"

Murphy, 36, says he has witnessed four of those floods. He wants lawmakers to study possible methods of flood mitigation like dredging, dams or more effective ways to collect runoff.

The mayor said last week's heavy rain shows flooding is now a pervasive problem in eastern North Carolina, and not only during major weather events.