FAYETTEVILLE: Flood called 'once in a decade' event - WSMV Channel 4

Fayetteville flood called 'once in a decade' event

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - Several people in Cumberland County spent their Wednesday cleaning up from storm damage or flooding. In the Stedman area, the National Weather Service surveyed damage and confirmed a tornado touched down Tuesday afternoon along John Nunnery Road near Ken Hancock Lane.

On Larry Smith’s property several trees were blown over or broken into pieces. Part of a tree hit his home. Shelters had pieces of their roofs blown off, and at least one of those pieces slammed into his pick-up trucks, causing more damage.

“I was standing around this morning and I told my sister – she was here – and I said I don’t know where to turn. It’s depressing but it will get better,” Smith said.

Off Whitfield Street in Fayetteville, flooding affected several people. Alton Johnson evacuated his apartment and stayed at a temporary Red Cross shelter Tuesday night.

He said he has seen flooding before, but it’s never affected him.

“This is my first real-life flood, on Waterless Street of all names,” Johnson joked.

He said he could make light of a flood on Waterless Street because it helped him deal with a messy situation. Almost all of his clothes were waterlogged, and when the water rose two to three feet high in his apartment his furniture was damaged too.

“You got to have a sense of humor because what’s happened has happened,” Johnson said. “What will be will be.”

Several other spots around Fayetteville also experienced flash flooding Tuesday. Some of those areas have never had flooding problems said the city’s Stormwater Division educator Shauna Haslem. She said so much rain in such a short time is a once in a decade type of event.

“If we get five inches in a 24 hour period our system should be able to handle it,” Haslem said. “The issue with yesterday was we had reports of five inches in one hour.”

So almost no city’s drainage system could handle that Haslem explained. Nonetheless, Fayetteville has identified some areas where large pipes or other improvement could help. Currently, the Buckhead and Kingsford subdivisions as well as the Bonnie Doone area are next in line for drainage upgrades.

“We know we do have some areas that need attention, and as we can we will fund those projects and get them completed,” Haslem said.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

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Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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