Flooding issues may persist

Published 1:35 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2016

While its neighbor to the south may be experiencing issues today (Wednesday), Hertford County officials are keeping a close eye on what could be delayed flooding.

Chris Smith, Hertford County’s Emergency Management Director, told the R-C News-Herald this morning that isolated pockets of flash flooding could develop later today and tonight.

“The flooding over in Bertie County, particularly around Colerain, could possibly impact us later,” Smith said. “Two of our waterways, Bear Swamp and the Chinkapin Creek, are both tied into the waterways in Bertie County that are now flooding. If the rain keeps coming and water backs up into Bear Swamp and the Chinkapin, we could see some flooding issues.”

Smith issued an advisory to local motorists, saying, “If you don’t have to be on the road tonight (Wednesday), then I would advise to remain at home until this water recedes.”

He added that the weather system producing all this rain will stick around until daybreak on Thursday.

“If we get these pockets of heavy rain on top of what has already fallen, we’ll see some of the typical low-lying areas flood, which will impact travel,” Smith noted. “We may see some road closures later today and into the night; possibly into early Thursday morning.”

Due to the threat of flooding, all Hertford County Public Schools dismissed early today.

Smith is also monitoring the Ahoskie Creek.

“We could see some flash flooding there, and even later on in the week after the rain stops. All this water has to flow downstream and if things back up there could be some spots that will flood,” Smith said.

As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh said the Ahoskie Creek was only about three feet below the bridge on Jernigan Swamp Road.

“If we get another quick, heavy downpour, plus with all this other water coming downstream, Jernigan Swamp Road may close,” Fitzhugh stated. “That will pose a bigger problem that just that road since Jernigan Swamp is now being used as a detour to get around the bridge construction on NC 42.”

For road closures in real time, click on the 511 link (Live Traffic Updates) at www.ncdot.gov. There is a drop-down bar to use to search for county-by-county road closures.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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