Flooding

Courtesy National Weather Service Raleigh

Flooding from heavy rains across North Carolina prompted Gov. Roy Cooper to declare a state of emergency on Friday as searchers looked for a 1-year-old and an adult who disappeared when high water swept through a campground.

Updated at 6:15 a.m. ET Wednesday

Hurricane Sally's eye made landfall Wednesday morning, bringing a perilous threat of floods to areas along the northern Gulf Coast, according to forecasters. The hurricane is crawling along at just 2 mph, giving its heavy rains even more potential impact. A tornado watch has also been issued.

"Because of that slow movement, we're going to see torrential rainfall, a dangerous amount of rainfall," National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said in an online briefing Tuesday morning.

Gerry Broome / AP

Excessive rain from Tropical Storm Isaias caused nearly 3,700 gallons (14,006 liters) of sewage to spill into a river in North Carolina, officials said.

A handful of states are preparing to spend millions of dollars to address flooding, as extreme rain and sea level rise threaten communities along rivers and coastlines.

On July 1, Virginia's new Community Flood Preparedness Fund went into effect. It will set aside an estimated $45 million a year for flood mitigation projects. To fund the program, Virginia joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which regulates emissions in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic by auctioning off emissions allowances.

County of Dare/Flickr / https://bit.ly/2O0i6Bn

New federal flood maps have reclassified thousands of properties in Dare County from high-flood risk areas to lower risk ones called "shaded X zones."

Steve Warren, Creative Commons License

A new study from North Carolina State University suggests that aging levees across the country might be in worse shape than inspectors realize.

Producer Laura Pellicer in a field in Harnett County
Courtesy Sandra Davidson

 

 

In 2019, The State of Things met musical visionaries, people fighting to save endangered cultures, and folks who supported their neighbors through another devastating hurricane. The individuals and stories at the heart of those conversations stuck with State of Things producer Laura Pellicer throughout the year.

Picture of a flooded street in Swansboro, N.C.
Tom Copeland / AP Photo

Historic cities and towns along the Southeastern U.S. coast have survived wars, hurricanes, disease outbreaks and other calamities, but now that sea levels are creeping up with no sign of stopping, they face a more existential crisis.

Ocean water covers Hwy. 12 in Frisco, N.C., as portions of the Outer Banks flooded on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.
John Francioni / WUNC

Two storms have merged off the coast of North Carolina, causing ocean water and sand to rush across lanes on the only highway connecting the barrier islands of the Outer Banks.

NWS Newport/Morehead City

Hurricane Dorian continues to move up the Atlantic coast, and while many areas were spared, it has created dangerous flooding conditions on North Carolina’s barrier islands. Flash flooding sent quickly rising waters into homes on Ocracoke Island this morning and hundreds of people may still be trapped. Gov. Roy Cooper said this morning in a briefing that communication is  limited and rescuers will have a difficult time reaching the island.

Tim Parkinson / flickr, creative commons, https://flic.kr/p/3X2t7D

National forecasters say high tide flooding hit record levels in some parts of North Carolina and expect it to be more common over the next 30 years. 

City of Raleigh

Cameras to keep an eye on road flooding are coming to 16 locations across Raleigh. The city will install them in areas where heavy rains and flooding have closed roads in the past.

Update3d at 9:08 p.m. ET

The Mississippi River has been at major flood stage for 41 days and counting, and this week a temporary wall failed, sending water rushing into several blocks of downtown Davenport, Iowa.

In that same area — the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois — the river crested at a new record height. The National Weather Service says a new record appears to have been set at Rock Island, Ill.

Jason DeBruyn / WUNC

 The historic flooding from Florence has eased, but communities and environmentalists are just beginning to take stock of the damage it caused.

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.
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 North Carolina National Guard was deployed to help in the fight against Florence.
NC National Guard

North Carolina is still reeling from Hurricane Florence. The death toll from the storm rose to at least 37 people in three different states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina. There are roughly 10,000 people still in shelters. Governor Roy Cooper urged those who evacuated to stay put. 

Linda Rupert

Tropical Depression Florence is well inland, but North Carolina is still reeling from the storm. All of the state’s 100 counties have experienced some form of National Weather System alert, from flash flood watch to hazardous weather outlook.

 In a two-hour special broadcast to stations around North Carolina, The State of Things speaks with residents, journalists, officials and experts about the devastating storm impact. 

Vehicles drive through water from the White Oak River flooding Highway 24 as Hurricane Florence hit Swansboro N.C., Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.
Tom Copeland / AP Photo

North Carolina is feeling the effects of Hurricane Florence. The major storm is expected to cause catastrophic flooding and long power outages. Host Frank Stasio talks to WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii and WUNC politics reporter Rusty Jacobs for the latest from the governor and on state response.

North Carolinians have been clearing grocery shelves and stocking up on clean water in anticipation of Hurricane Florence. However the insurance industry says if you want to really prepare for the worst, you need to take stock of what you've already got at home.

Flooding along NC 211 near Lumberton make roads impassable on Monday, October 10, 2016.
Jay Price / WUNC

A report on the potential for hurricane damage says more than 250,000 homes in North Carolina face some chance of flooding.  

Overhead view of Hurricane Matthew
NASA / Flickr

It's Hurricane Preparedness week, and North Carolina public safety officials want residents to consider how vulnerable they'd be if a big storm hit their area.

flooding in Raleigh
Gerry Broome / AP

A year ago, Hurricane Matthew dumped a dozen or more inches of rain on central and eastern North Carolina. Record flooding in the days following the storm devastated communities downstream.

tink tracy / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/6cMNx8

A report on sea level rise in North Carolina points to dozens of coastal communities that face chronic flooding over the next century. 

Homes along Highway 401 in Bunnlevel were threatened as the nearby Upper Little River overflowed its banks on Sunday, October 9, 2016.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Congress is debating a bill that would overhaul the National Flood Insurance Program. The move could significantly raise rates for homeowners in North Carolina's highest-risk areas.

Liz Bell

Many communities in eastern North Carolina are still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The storm hit the East Coast last October, and in Edgecombe County hundreds of students were displaced after flooding nearly destroyed Princeville Elementary School. Now the Edgecombe County school board must decide on next steps for rebuilding the school.

Flood map for portions of North Carolina until 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, 2017.
Courtesy of the National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has extended flood warnings for central and eastern North Carolina, and will continue to monitor conditions throughout the week. 

Princeville, Hurricane Matthew, Flooding
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The town of Princeville, North Carolina was established by freed slaves after the Civil War, and it is the oldest town incorporated by African-Americans in the United States. Hurricane Matthew put the town underwater, but leaders there are vowing to rebuild and reclaim the historical place. Members of the National Guard are pumping millions of gallons of water back into the Tar River while residents wait to see if anything is salvageable. 

Princeville, Flooding, Race, Hurricane Matthew
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Residents in a small, mostly African-American community in eastern North Carolina are still waiting to see what’s left of their flooded homes since the wrath of Hurricane Matthew.

flood maps from 2006 and 2016
North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program

New state maps detailing the risk of coastal flooding show some areas are less flood-prone than previously calculated.

If the updated maps are approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more than 31,000 properties in coastal North Carolina will have their flood risk classification downgraded.

Flooding in Chapel Hill on Sunday
Jstn568 / wunderground

Flooding and hurricanes are the main natural threats facing North Carolina, according to a new risk assessment map published online by the World Bank.

The interactive map is designed to help developers and project planners anticipate natural disasters and the impact of climate change.

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