Matt Montanye, director of Public Works for the City of New Bern, described the impacts of the weather and the continuous rain the area has seen since midnight last night.
Craven County Schools will operate on a 2-hour delay tomorrow Friday due to localized flooding and water on the roads.
Over the past 17 hours the airport has recorded 7-inches of rain and the forecast is for it to continue until the early morning hours. As you are aware stormwater systems are typically designed for 1 inches-2 inches over a 24-hour period. So the possibility of 10 or more inches in 24-hours has had a significant impact on the system.
“I want you to know that I have talked with the Mayor and several Aldermen throughout the day and I have ensured them that we have staff doing everything physically possible to keep the drainage basin and pipes free flowing so that the water moves out as quickly as possible. As of now we have been fortunate that the river has been out, but as we go through the night and the tide begins to rise we will have some additional challenges,” he said.
“Today we have had eight crews working on nothing but drainage (clearing drains, clearing pipes and maintaining the stormwater pump stations). These crews are prepared to work well into the night with relief coming in early tomorrow morning.”
The stormwater pump stations have been running at 100 percent all day (about 24,000 gallons per minute EACH) and at about 4:30 p.m. the city was still seeing the water rise in this area.
“We are currently seeing localized flooding in several areas around town. Avery Smith and George Chiles have been out monitoring these areas all day and will continue to do so. I have also reviewed all of this information with (Fire) Chief Boyd and his staff is prepared in case there are any emergencies.
“I want to assure you though that the flooding issues are being caused by the excess amount of rain we are seeing and not because of a lack of maintenance.”
Chief Boyd also indicated that he has talked with Stanley Kite with Craven County Emergency Management and he indicated that the area is now on the backside of the storm