LUMBERTON — City officials today were concerned about a changing forecast related to Florence, which now calls for perhaps twice as much rain as originally predicted, and has them worried about a Matthew 2.0.
Still, they were cautiously optimistic and in a “wait-and-see” mode.
City Manager Wayne Horne said the water plant, which was drowned by Matthew, has been fortified by a makeshift berm that is being completed today, and the city was pumping water out of the levee to make room for as many as 20 inches of rain that Florence could produce.
City officials arettrusting that the Lumber River, which was already at 13 feet and flood stage for Matthew, will be able to handle the rain because when it was checked today, it was at about 7 feet.
Horne also pointed out Matthew’s 18 inches of rain came in a single day, while Florence’s is forecast for over three days.
But the ever-changing forecast has city officials worried that the rain could be even worse.
The silver lining is that the latest forecast takes Robeson County out of the area where hurricane-force winds are expected, and in the tropical-storm range.