Neuse River to crest Saturday in Lenoir County, officials say

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCN) – A mandatory evacuation is still in effect for residents along the Neuse River in Lenoir County as the river continues to swell in the days after Hurricane Matthew.

Click for more images of Matthew and its aftermath
Click for more images of Matthew and its aftermath

The Neuse is expected to crest in Kinston at 28 feet Saturday morning. That is nearly five feet above where it was measured Wenesday afternoon. Flood stage of the river is 14 feet.

The record for the Neuse River in Kinston is 27.7 feet.

“We are mostly concerned about people in neighborhoods affected by Floyd,” said Mayor B.J. Murphy. “We told them to get out. We’ve knocked on doors for two days straight.”

The Neuse River’s relentless increase in volume is targeting low-lying Kinston neighborhoods that felt the wrath of Hurricane Floyd 17 years ago.

Evacuee Charles Moy said his house was eight inches under water after Floyd.

That house survived the Floyd floods but many other homes in the area did not.

Oak Street was a thriving neighborhood before Floyd hit and it was never rebuilt. Waters from the river can been seen creeping towards that area.

County officials said the northeast section of Lenoir County is still experiencing flooding, mainly along Contentnea Creek.

Highway 70 will remain open through the county until water covers it, officials confirmed.

A curfew remains in effect for Lenoir County and the City of Kinston from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. until further notice.


Two shelters have been established in Lenoir County to assist anyone affected by the storm.

  • Lenoir Community College (Pets can be accommodated)
    Student Center (Building 2)
    231 North Carolina Hwy 58
    Kinston, North Carolina 28504
  • Kinston High School (No pets)
    2601 North Queen St.
    Kinston, North Carolina 28501

If you need assistance with evacuating, please contact the Lenoir County Emergency Operations Center at 252-559-1911.

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