Wake County neighborhood flooding as water released from Falls Lake

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A neighborhood just outside Raleigh is flooding again from last week’s heavy rains.

This time, it’s the result of an increased release of water from the Falls Lake Dam. The excess water caused overflows along some portions of the Neuse River, including the River Bend Plantation community.

The excess water caused overflows along some portions of the Neuse River, including the River Bend Plantation community.

The dam increased its output Friday from about 37,000 gallons-per-second to nearly 45,000. That’s about 162 million gallons an hour, and almost 3.9 billion gallons a day.

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The Army Corps of Engineers said it waited to up the output until after Thursday night and Friday morning rains stopped, to allow for areas far downstream to clear.

River Bend Plantation is closer to the dam, about 12 miles downstream, and people there said the current flow is just too much.

“I don’t think they have a bit of concern,” longtime resident Bobby Harrison said about the decision by the Corps to increase the amount of water released from the dam.

The neighborhood is technically outside of city limits, and private roads covered by water Saturday are not covered by the county.

“We’re just sort of what I call collateral damage. They’re worried about the people downstream of course, and we’re the least of their worries,” Ed Smallwood said.

The Neuse River flows past his backyard. His dock has posts which are five feet above the walkway, and they were fully submerged Saturday.

Smallwood said he understands the Corps is following protocol according to the levels of the lake.

He reached out to a regional brigadier general to reconsider the increase, and is now calling on Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis to push for policy changes to limit the amounts.

Smallwood said the Corps will continue to follow its manual unless the regulations book itself is altered.

His biggest concern involves safety when power line boxes near the roads become submerged power.

“I don’t know if I’d want to be standing down there by it when that transformer blows.  It might be a problem,” Smallwood said.

People currently wade through the water from their homes, hiking to higher ground where cars are parked.

“Whenever the Corps of Engineers lets the water back down, we’ll be driving back in and out again,” Harrison said.

“It doesn’t bother me too much because I can park my truck down the street. I grew up during the Depression, so it’s quite easy to me.”

The Army Corps of Engineers said Friday it plans to keep the current flow levels for a week and then lower it by about a third.

People in the neighborhood said they can stand that decreased amount, but expect the water to continue to stand on the roads until then.

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