New area flood gauges installed to increase safety, flood prediction capability

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Black River (Photo: NC DPS)

CAPE FEAR REGION (WWAY) — When river levels began rising following hurricane Matthew and Florence, it quickly became a potential very dangerous situation for many families in the Cape Fear.

North Carolina Emergency Management warned community leaders what day and time the river would crest and just how high water levels would rise in their community. A series of flood gauges provided critical data to make those predictions.

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In June 2018, the state announced that more than a dozen gauges would be added to the state network and help alert other communities to dangerous flooding.

“Time and again over the last several years, we’ve used data from these flood gauges to warn residents and communities about dangerous flood conditions,” said state emergency management director Mike Sprayberry.

The Sunset Beach Pier got new flood gauges installed Friday. All of the gauges will be maintained by North Carolina Environmental Management and will be connected to the FIMAN, Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network.



Five of the 13 new gauges were added in the Cape Fear Region. The five were funded by county governments.

  • Pender County – Black River near Currie
  • Brunswick County – Caw Caw Swamp at Number 5 School Rd NW near Carolina Shores
  • Brunswick County – Shallotte River at Main St./U.S. 17 Business in Shallotte
  • Brunswick County – Lockwood Folly River at N.C. Hwy 211 / Southport-Supply Rd. in Supply
  • Brunswick County – Ocean Isle Beach Pier

“Adding new gauges in these areas will help communities be more aware and prepared for flooding, and will allow for better warning when floods are coming,” said State Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry.  “FIMAN is a powerful tool that helps us very accurately define what areas will be affected by flood waters, so emergency managers and local officials can take the appropriate actions to keep people safe.”

View gauge data online.