KINSTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Kinston residents tell CBS North Carolina the Neuse River has been so low at times they can walk across it. Now, the river has reached record levels and continues to rise.
It’s expected to crest just below 29 feet around midnight Saturday.
Gov. Pat McCrory came to Kinston Thursday to survey the damage. He admits it’s going to be a long recovery process. For some it could take months, if not years.
“There has been some concern among officials this week about the bridge,” Kinston Mayor BJ Murphy told CBS North Carolina. “It does seem to be holding up – which is important because our main north/south corridor has been under construction for the past year so we don’t need to lose this. But if we do, we will get through it. ”
Homeowners and renters in Lenoir County can apply for individual aid.
The county is also one of 34 counties that have been approved for storm response funding.
This is the highest the Neuse River at Kinston has ever been. The previous record was set in 1999 during Hurricane Floyd.
With it so high, it continues to be a very dangerous situation.
“Turn around don’t drown, because we had someone who just went around the barricade just this week here in Lenoir County,” Murphy said. “Here we’ve had over 20 deaths across this eastern North Carolina in the past few days and we just don’t want to lose a single life going forward. Especially when it’s pretty much preventable.”
Three deaths have been reported in Lenoir County following Hurricane Matthew, officials said.