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Florence-ravaged areas face more river flooding as Wilmington, North Carolina, hits 100-inch yearly rain total

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 12/15/2018 kristina.pydynowski
a house with trees in the background: High river Dec 15 © Provided by Accuweather, Inc High river Dec 15

Flooding will plague residents living along many swollen rivers in the southeastern United States despite dry weather taking hold from Sunday through Wednesday.

Following the latest bout of heavy rain Friday into Saturday, many rivers are at minor to moderate flood stage from northern Florida to North Carolina.

"Areas in eastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina, which were hard hit a few months ago by Hurricane Florence are among the communities dealing with flooded rivers," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.

This includes the Northeast Cape Fear, Cape Fear, Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee and Lumber rivers.

While the ongoing river flooding will not rival the devastation endured during Florence, it can cause more hardships for residents.

The Lumber River at Lumberton, North Carolina, is projected to crest just shy of major flood stage (19 feet) at the end of this weekend, according to National Weather Service (NWS) hydrologists.

At 18 feet, several homes will become isolated and inundated between the Pepsi plant and the river. Nearby roads will be closed.

The river at this location had a similar crest on Nov. 19 and set a record crest of 29 feet after Florence on Sept. 17.

After the river crests by Monday, moderate river flooding may persist through most of the upcoming week.

Outside of those hit by Florence, river flooding is also occurring southward to northern Florida. This includes communities along the Congaree, Savannah, Satilla, Alapaha, Chipola, Suwannee and Apalachicola rivers.

The Suwannee River reached major flood stage near Benton, Florida, on Saturday morning.

As the floodwaters drain downstream, the river is anticipated to rise to minor to moderate stages across northern Florida through at least next weekend.

Residents living along larger streams and rivers in the Southeast are urged to monitor advice by local officials and take the necessary steps to protect your home and property from the advancing floodwaters. Heed any evacuation orders that are issued.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay aware of river flooding warnings.

The rivers in the Southeast will be out of their banks despite the next few days featuring partly to mostly sunny and comfortable conditions.

Aside from where the river flooding is closing roads, the dry spell will prevent travelers from dealing with weather-related delays and give the ground a chance to slightly dry out.

The rain-free stretch, however, will not last long enough to allow rivers to fully return to normal levels.

"Another round of rain, which could be potentially heavy, looks to return to the Southeast on Thursday or Friday," according to Pydynowski.

If heavy rain transpires, it could once again cause area creeks, streams and rivers to rise.

Hurricane Florence marked the start of an unusually wet stretch of months for the Southeast.

While there is still half of the month left, December average rainfall totals have already been exceeded in many locations.

This includes in Wilmington, North Carolina, which measured 100 inches of rain for the entire year on Saturday morning. A total of 57.61 inches is the city's normal annual rainfall.

That total includes the 23.02 inches that put the city under water during and after Florence.


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