Tropical Storm Nicole out-rains Hurricane Floyd | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Rainfall amounts rivaling those posted during Hurricane Floyd in 1999 are being accumulated across Beaufort County and its neighboring counties as Tropical Storm Nicole goes up the coast. According to the National Weather Service, in the past 24 hours Beaufort County has received from 3 to 6 inches of rain, depending on the exact location. Prior to that, Washington, the county seat of Beaufort County, had already received 14.21 inches of rain since Sunday, according to WITN Weather. The National Weather Service is calling for an additional 2 to 3 inches of precipitation for Beaufort County before the system lets up tomorrow morning.

    The reported total rainfall during Hurricane Floyd, which resulted in disastrous flooding throughout Eastern North Carolina due to the overflow from rivers and streams, was approximately 15 to 20 inches, depending on the area. Already, from the totals posted above, it seems that some locations, including Beaufort County, may be surpassing this crucial threshold.
    Gladden Street in downtown Washington, NC was swamped with the flood between West 3rd and West Second Streets: Above. The tale of two rivers - the Pamlico in the background and the torrential flow of the effluent from the remnants of Topical Storm Nicole in the foreground: Below. images by Stan Deatherage

    As of 4:45 p.m. today, the National Weather Service's flood warning is only in effect until 7:30 p.m. this afternoon for Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Onslow, Pamlico, Pitt and Washington counties.

    A wind advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service through this evening for coastal areas, including the Outer Banks, the Pamlico Sound and the Crystal Coast. People in those areas can expect winds from 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph. The southeasterly wind direction will push water levels 2 to 3 feet above normal along the Crystal Coast as well as the Pamlico Sound and up the Pamlico River, according to the National Weather Service.

    To see a live radar of the storm click here.
    The Pamlico River rose about 4 feet from the minor storm surge of Nicole and the nearly 18 inches of rain that eventually fell: Above. The drainage system in Washington could not handel the immense flow of water as one can tell from this picture of a swollen Jacks Creek that is more than 5 feet above its normal level: Below. images by Stan Deatherage

    Beaufort County's emergency-services coordinator, John Pack, said that these winds will continue to topple pine trees, which have virtually no taproot to keep them in place in the wet ground. Already, local firefighters and rescue workers from the N.C. Department of Transportation have responded to several instances in Beaufort County of trees falling across power lines--from Hickory Point, beyond PCS Phosphate in Aurora, to Southside High School in Chocowinity, to Herring Run Road in Blount's Creek, to Van Dorp Road in Pantego, to Seed Tick Neck Road in Pinetown, to Savannah and Woodstock roads in Belhaven.

    "I'd like to say that these pine trees we're about 6 inches in diameter, but the last one that we sent crews to was 2 feet in diameter," said Pack. "The fire department carries chain saws on their equipment trucks, but they don't carry logging saws."

    According to Pack, roughly 1500 Beaufort County residents were out of power at 9 a.m. this morning due to these damaged power lines. As of 4 p.m. today, however, first responders had restored power to all but about 50 of these residents.

    Earlier today, a car hydroplaned and flipped into a canal off U.S. 64 in Washington County resulting in four deaths, and leaving one 3-year-old in critical condition, according to the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management. These are the only reported weather-related deaths, though there have been several accidents and injuries.

    In Beaufort County, Pack said that vehicular accidents have reduced in number each day of the storm. He attributes this to the possibility that people are more careful once they realize the dangers. Pack said that on Monday there were four very significant accidents, bad enough to close U.S. highways. He said that Tuesday, there were two accidents; Wednesday, there was one accident; and today there have been no accidents. Pack reported no deaths, but said that there were a few serious injuries and one instance where Life Flight had to transport an injured person to Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

    Many roads are flooded, but most in Beaufort County are still passable. Pack said that one of the biggest roadway hazards is caused by certain inconsiderate owners of high-level vehicles who don’t slow down as they pass lower-level cars. On Monday, tracker trailers driving down 5th and 15th streets caused waves to surmount the hoods of 15 cars, which stalled out and had to be towed.

nbsp;   “It’s going to be one of the most expensive days they ever had,” said Pack.

    Pack said that he and first sergeant Kemp Pitts of the N.C. Highway Patrol have a theory that people are already having a difficult time performing routine maintenance to their automobiles, especially in the case of tires. Pitts reported that those involved in the aforementioned weather-related accidents were driving on old tires with little tread.

    Updates and photos to come.

    Though Beaufort County Schools were canceled today; as of 5:45 p.m. this afternoon, classes are still on for Friday. Click here for a frequently updated list of school and business closings.
    Even some of the highest land around Washington was awash in flood waters. This is evident in these images made in the suburb of Mac'swood, which is over 25 feet above sea level: Above and below. images by Stan Deatherage

    Click here for an updated list of highway closings.
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The circus freaks me out Weather Events, The Region Highway 264 West of Washington, NC is Still Closed


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