As the flooding recedes in most parts of the county, many residents question whether round two is coming this week.
When the New River’s levels rise again, will there be more flooding?
It’s hard to say, according to Meteorologist Lara Pagano who works at the National Weather Service in Morehead City.
One resident in particular would like to know when the river will be back to normal.
Jason Christian lives in River Hills off Rhodestown Road in Jacksonville where the only way out of the back of the subdivision is by boat.
Photos he submitted show water almost covering a Jeep.
“As of now the river is still rising. The New River connects to my land,” Christian said. “It’s horrible here.”
The houses have power, Christian said, and a few neighbors have canoes they’ve been using to leave their homes, but it doesn’t seem as if the New River is going to recede from their area anytime soon.
The river is going to rise over the next couple of days, according to Pagano. It is unknown how much the river will rise or if it will cause flooding in other areas of the county when it does.
Pagano explained that some rivers are forecast points, meaning the NWS’ River Forecast Center has models created for those rivers and monitors them. The New River is not one of them.
The closest river monitored locally is the Neuse River, and dire predictions have been made for it.
The NWS is forecasting record-high flooding of the Neuse River which will surpass Floyd.
“Residents in flood prone areas need to really pay attention,” said meteorologist John Elardo.
Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail and other emergency officials are working on a plan for an expected 30-foot crest of the river by Friday.
Lenoir County and Kinston city officials hosted a press conference Sunday, about the flooding hazards.
“At this time we are preparing as we have been told our Neuse River could reach 30 feet by Friday,” Dail said.
River levels are projected to be 3 feet more than Floyd’s record of 27.7 ft.
Officials are asking residents who live in flood zones to begin preparing their property and family members for flooding and evacuation.
“This is going to be a very dangerous, life-threatening flood and homes will be damaged,” Dail said.
Although some residents were not affected by Floyd in 1999 officials ask all residents to be prepared.
Officials are advising residents to stay out of flood waters, stay off roads and to be aware of their surroundings.
“This flood will touch the lives of all of our citizens,” Lenoir County Chairman Craig Hill said.
While NWS doesn’t closely monitor the New River in Onslow County, there were some numbers brought in from Hurricane Matthew from a gauge near Gum Branch Road.
At 8 p.m. Saturday the Gum Branch Road area of the New River was 12 ½ feet deep, Pagano said. By 9 a.m. Sunday it was at 19.25 feet, and then something happened to the gauge – Pagano doesn’t know what but speculated it could have been damaged from the storm.
When the river begins to rise over the next couple of days, Pagano said there is no way of knowing if the river will flood any parts of Onslow County or not, but said it wouldn’t impact the area as badly as the Neuse River’s predicted flooding.
That’s good news for Christian and his neighbors. His living quarters are seven feet above the ground and after hearing that the river is going to rise, he was concerned. Right now, he has nowhere else he can go.
Photos of downtown Jacksonville near the USO and the courthouse circulated on social media during the storm, showing the heavy overflow from the river that covered the seats of the picnic tables near the waterfront.
Pagano said she believed that was from flash flooding and with no rain in the forecast, she doesn’t believe downtown will see that again in the coming days.
“We don’t foresee (heavy) flooding issues,” she said.