LUMBERTON — Robeson County was spared by the damage of heavy rains this week that caused flooding, washed out roadways and even caused a sinkhole in neighboring counties.
Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke and Moore counties were hardest hit, with almost a foot of rain reported in some places in Hoke.
“Numerous secondary roads and some primary routes are closed in these counties due to high water and in some cases, flood damage. Transportation crews are assessing conditions and will re-open roads as soon as it is possible to do so,” the Department of Transportation said.
The DOT’s website shows eight roads in Harnett County at least partially closed because of the rain, eight in Cumberland, nine in Hoke and two in Moore. Roads affected include U.S. 401 North near Rockfish in Hoke County, N.C. 210 near Fayetteville and N.C. 690 in Moore County. For road closure updates, visit tims.ncdot.gov/tims.
The rain prompted the closure of one lane of southbound Interstate 95 near mile marker 43. Manchester Road on Fort Bragg was closed after it collapsed under heavy rain. Cross Creek overflowed, flooding parts of downtown Fayetteville.
“Drivers are reminded that if you must travel, do not drive through flooded areas, even if it seems shallow. Just one foot of water can float many vehicles, while two feet of rushing water can carry away vehicles, including SUVs and pick-ups,” DOT said.
The severe weather has prompted Cumberland County Schools and Fort Bragg Schools to cancel classes today. Hoke County schools are on a two-hour delay.
Mattie Caulder, assistant Emergency Services director for the Robeson County, said DOT had put up caution sides on Chason Road in Lumber Bridge, but DOT’s website did not show a closure there this morning. The National Weather Service showed no reports of storm-related issues in Robeson in the past 48 hours.
On Wednesday, Lumberton received 0.9 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service, while Fayetteville saw 5.3 inches. Thursday, about 1.5 inches fell around Lumberton with about 4 inches falling north of St. Pauls. Parts of Hoke and Cumberland saw much as as 10 inches by Thursday night.
According to The Fayetteville Observer, a dam breached in Spring Lake, where some residents were evacuated, and the Lower Little River reached historic levels. Twenty-five people had to be rescued, the paper reported this morning. Fayetteville and Cumberland County declared a state of emergency.
“While we have not yet had any requests for state assistance, we stand ready to provide whatever support is needed to respond to this latest emergency,” Gov. Pat McCrory said in a statement Thursday. “I have spoken to Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson and our state and local emergency managers have been in constant contact since last evening about the current flooding in several central and eastern counties.”
This morning, the National Weather Service had issued a flood warning for Cumberland, Bladen, Hoke, Harnett and Sampson counties.
The forecast for Robeson County is calling for a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms today, mainly before 2 p.m., followed by mostly sunny skies this weekend. Surrounding counties are also facing the possibility of more rain, but not in excessive amounts.
Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-816-1974 or on Twitter @Sarah_Willets.