Florence vs Matthew: North Carolina rivers may crest higher than 2016 hurricane

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Hurricane Florence is bringing historic landfall to North Carolina, and those numbers are only going to rise in spots.

A major concern for many counties is flooding, especially flooding near some of our bigger rivers.

With all big rain events, officials look for rivers to crest, which is the highest stage or level of a flood wave as it passes a particular point.

In 2016, Hurricane Matthew brought flooding concerns to many parts of the state, leaving homes and businesses damaged nearly two years later.

And with Hurricane Florence, officials are planning for a similar outcome.

However, the numbers so far are telling a different story.

Where the rain gauges sit as of Sunday morning, the crest for Hurricane Matthew is set higher than the projected crests for the Tar and Neuse rivers for Florence.

However, the bigger concern is for Cape Fear and Little rivers.

The Cape Fear River has already reached the flood stage and is expected to crest 3.5′ above Matthew.

As a precaution, residents within one mile of banks of both rivers were evacuated Saturday afternoon.

Here’s the flooding forecast until Wednesday:

Cape Fear/Little River

Fayetteville and Manchester

Lillington and Lumberton

Neuse River

Smithfield and Goldsboro

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