Neuse River swells, floods Smithfield following Matthew

SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) – The Neuse River has swelled above record levels Monday near Smithfield and has created problems near the downtown area.

See more photos of Matthew's aftermath
See more photos of Matthew’s aftermath

Ten people were killed and possibly three are missing in North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew dumped more than a foot of rain in some parts and left roads and neighborhoods flooded.

Of those ten deaths, Gov. Pat McCrory said three occurred in Johnston County.

According to Josh Holloman of the Johnston County Emergency Operations Center, crews are still in rescue mode due to county residents being trapped by floodwaters.

Holloman said dozens of water rescues have taken place Monday, mostly of people who’ve tried to drive through floodwaters created by the overflowing Neuse River.

“We’re seeing a lot of those (rescues) happening today as people go out,” Holloman said. “Most of our rescues have been from vehicles.”

He also said freshwater still remains an issue in many parts of Johnston County.

Floodwaters damaged some of the infrastructure used to provide water to residents.

Officials have been able to restore water service to the northern part of the county but Holloman said there are still many parts of the county which don’t have water service right now.

We lost our drinking water on Sunday and got it back about 10 o’clock Monday,” said resident Crystal Corbett. “We were worried because we couldn’t take showers or do the dishes, no clean water for that.”

The Neuse River was at record levels in Smithfield Monday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The river swelled after Hurricane Matthew dumped heavy rains across the Southeast.

The Neuse was at 28.96 feet at of 11 a.m. Monday, more than 13 feet above flood stage. Its previous record level was 27.4 feet.

RELATED: CBS North Carolina Storm Team’s Hurricane Central

U.S. 70 is closed at Highway 210 as floodwaters inundated businesses and other areas near downtown.

Nelson Mitchell, owner of Mitchell Concrete Product,s has been in Smithfield since 1970 and said the water is at least 6-feet deep.

Mitchell said the depth of the swiftly running water at his firm was based on estimations from a boater who checked out the situation earlier Monday.

“We weren’t expecting it to get this high,” Mithell said.


He said the waters in Smithfield are higher Monday than when Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

Further down the Neuse, a mandatory evacuation has now been ordered for residents who live along the river in Kinston and Lenoir County.

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