No real options to prevent further flooding of Raleigh’s Crabtree Creek

(Lauren Haviland/CBS North Carolina)


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Crabtree Creek starts in west Cary and eventually dumps into the Neuse River, but along the way in Raleigh, areas along the creek flood when heavy rains fall.

CBS North Carolina looked into who is responsible for maintaining the creek and what, if anything, could be done to prevent future flooding.

RELATED: Homeowner says Raleigh should help with Crabtree Creek

Simply put – aside from the city buying up all land – there’s nothing that can be done to prevent the flooding like the area saw earlier this week.

It is in a flood plain and developers built there.

With all the pavement, there’s nowhere for the water to go when the water rises, according to Lisa Parker, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman.

The City of Raleigh regulates new development and requires floodproofing, according to Kristin Freeman, a city spokeswoman, but construction that took place before those rules were put in place in the 1970s are likely to flood.

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If there is some obstruction, such as a beaver dam, clogging the water flow of the creek, anyone can ask the Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to clear it out, Parker said.

It’s up to the person who gets the permit to hire contractors and follow the rules on the permit.

Obstructions like that do not seem to be the cause of the flooding, Parker said, pointing instead to the pavement and lack of soil. No one has requested any permits to clear the creek, she said.

Mami Nora’s restaurant on Wake Forest Road shut down for two days this week to cleanup.

With no clear solution in sight, manager Vanessa Mentore expects more water and damage.

“The location is like perfect. Everybody knows where Mami Nora’s is, so we can’t really move. There has to be another thing we can do,” she said.

A statement from the City of Raleigh’s Stormwater Management Division said flood plains like the area around Crabtree Creek are essential for cleaning and storing stormwater runoff and that if the flood plain did not exist, rain like we saw this week result in even more flood damage.

The City of Raleigh does buy and restore some floodplain areas.

For example, the city bought and recently demolished the Milner and Capital Inn properties on Capitol Boulevard and restored the areas to a more natural floodplain.

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