Tunis remains ‘wet’ after storm

Published 9:22 am Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TUNIS – The nasty nor’easter that struck the region last week is long gone, but flooding problems still exist in some isolated areas.

One of the more notable areas of flooding is in the Tunis community, which sits along the shoreline of the Chowan River south of Winton. There, the canals as well as Catherine Creek, which provides access to the river, have swollen their banks.

“It’s a combination of things there in Tunis – flooding upstream on the Nottaway and Blackwater rivers and the water that was pushed in from the Albemarle Sound during the nor’easter,” Hertford County Emergency Management Director Charles Jones said. “The Nottaway/Blackwater water is now making its way downstream into the Chowan River.”

According to the National Weather Service, the Blackwater River was expected to crest at 13.9 feet Sunday evening. Flood stage for the river is 12 feet. The river is expected to stay above flood stage until at least Wednesday.

The Nottoway River is also under a flood warning. It’s expected to crest at 17.6 feet at Sebrell, Va. by today (Tuesday). Flood stage at Sebrell is 16 feet.

On Monday afternoon, flood waters covered some spots at the “bottom of the hill” in Tunis, especially those areas along the canals and Catherine Creek at its mouth with the river and near the NC Wildlife boat ramp.

“There’s just a lot of water in the (Chowan) river right now and it’s not in a big hurry to go anywhere fast,” Jones noted. “It’s just one of those situations we have following a big storm where time will take care of things.”

One factor that will play a major role in helping speed-up the drainage process is the fact that the water level is falling rapidly in the Ahoskie Creek. Jones said the creek level fell 3-to-4 feet late Sunday and Monday morning.

“With the Ahoskie Creek going down, it gives some room on the Chowan to filter out some of this water,” Jones said.

The Ahoskie Creek, at the height of its flooding, did overflow its banks in several places…“but in no way as bad as I’ve seen it in the past,” Jones remarked.