Some areas brace for Hurricane Florence floods, others to remain high and dry

September 13, 2018

WILMINGTON, N.C. – While Hurricane Florence might be reminiscent of Hurricane Matthew in rainfall, it won’t be when it comes to flooding.

Near-drought conditions leading up to the arrival of the storm have most Pee Dee waterways in a better position for the rain than they were in during the 2016 hurricane, and the Pee Dee probably won’t see large-scale flooding.

Several communities, though, could still see flood waters associated with the storm’s passing.

The Little Pee Dee River at Galivants Ferry could hit major flooding next week, according to a bulletin issued by the National Weather Service office at Wilmington, N.C.

The river is forecast to hit a level where at least 30-40 homes in the Fork Retch community near Nichols will be affected by floodwaters.

Upstream from Nichols, the Lumber River at Lumberton, N.C., is foreast to crest at major flood stage either Sunday night or Monday.

The Lumber River and the Little Pee Dee River converge south of Nichols, and the two rivers combined in 2016 to flood Nichols.

East of Galivants Ferry, Conway is expected to see flooding when the Waccamaw River hits major flood levels early next week on its way to what could be a record flood later in the week.

Such water levels would inundate residential areas around Conway, flood the Conway Marina and possibly overtop the railroad trestles in downtown Conway.

In Florence County, residents around East Black Creek Road will be faced with rising water by Wednesday, according to the briefing.

The Great Pee Dee River at both Cheraw and Pee Dee is expected to reach moderate flood levels – Monday at Pee Dee and Wednesday at Cheraw. The flood is expected to affect farmland and logging operations only.

The Lynches River, which topped its banks and blocked U.S. 52 during Hurricane Matthew, is not expected to flood, according to the briefing.

The rise in river levels will be driven by 10 to 15 inches of rain forecast to fall along an arc from Florence to Lumberton. Flooding along the Waccamaw will be fed by close to 20 inches of rain forecast to fall along an arc from Conway northeast to Whiteville, North Carolina, and northeast from there.

Flooding along Black Creek will be fueled by approximately 10 inches of rain along its path from Hartsville to the Country Club of South Carolina and then to the Great Pee Dee River.

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