WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)–The city of Whiteville was hammered with heavy rains throughout the day on Tuesday. A few areas saw five inches of rain in two hours according to the National Weather Service. City officials say that type of rainfall led to instant flash flooding across.
“Magnitude of that rainfall is its equivalent to 100 year rainfall event, which is a 100 year flood event,”says Whiteville City Manager Darren Currie.
The excessive amount of rain in a short period of time caused the cities drainage systems to slow down. It forced water to back up in the streets, closing nearly 20 intersections throughout Whiteville.
“That all happened in two hours and for those two hours it just flat overwhelmed the city,”says Currie. “Our storm drains just could not keep up. “
Businesses along Highway 701 and Jefferson Street in Whiteville had water creep into their store fronts. The owners say this time they were prepared, but it’s not like that every time.
“We’ve lost a lot things due to flooding in the past, but yesterday we were prepared for it,”says Eric Baldwin owner of Baldwin Signs & Awnings. “We we were here luckily and had to get everything up off the ground.”
Officials say Tuesday night went from heavy showers to a city-wide emergency within a half hour. They brought in any available resource, taking every necessary precaution.
“We had public works, waste water treatment, and Parks & Rec people in,”says Currie. That doesn’t even include fire and police. I mean we had about everybody we could get here, here.”
The residents say they would be perfectly fine with a couple of dry days in the forecast, with yesterdays rain turning things upside down for business.
“It went from being a great day, to the unexpected happening here in town.”