Greenville residents gawk at rising waters as flood’s crest finally nears

People in a neighborhood popular with ECU students look at flood waters rising in Greenville. (WNCN)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Mikhayla Dunn went home Thursday to grab a few things. She did so in a kayak, not a car.

A National Guard member, she’d been in Washington, D.C., when the evacuation order came for her Greeneville home. Thursday, she returned home to grab a few things.

Seeing the flood in person was different from just knowing it was there, she said.

“I knew it was here, but actually seeing it in person was completely different,” she said.

She grabbed National Guard gear, in case she gets called up, plus clothes and some books, to hopefully get some studying in, she said.

Also Thursday, people came to Wyndham Circle to see the rising flood waters.

The looping street just south of the Tar River is about as close as people can get to the flood.

The area is popular with ECU students, many of whom started evacuating several days ago. The school has been closed all week.

The U.S. Geological Survey predicts the river will crest Thursday night a little less than a foot above its level Thursday afternoon.

But the river is expected to stay at “major flood stage” through Monday evening.

For days, people here have watched the water creep higher, wondering what impacts it will have on thier homes and lives.

“It’s kind of scary, though, because I’ve been living here two years now,” said Sierra Buck, an ECU student. “So, it’s like everything you knew that was back there is not going to be the same for quite some time. So, it’s kind of disheartening.”

Four shelters are operating here for those displaced by the flood. The Red Cross reported 259 people were staying in the shelters as of Thursday morning.

County officials are already worrying about the problems that will emerge when the waters recede. The county’s public health director said he’s concerned mosquitoes will have excellent breeding conditions in standing water left behind, so officials are working to set up a mosquito spraying and prevention program.

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