Florence live updates from the field Tuesday: Watching the water rise

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Our reporters and photojournalists are in the field throughout the Carolinas reporting on the effects of Florence. Their Monday reports are here and their Sunday reports are here.

You can follow them at https://twitter.com/newsobserver/lists/hurricane-mcclatchy

Fayetteville, NC: Rivers still rising

7:35 a.m.: The Cape Fear River in Fayetteville was expected to crest on Tuesday, but another river in Cumberland County had already reached an all-time record.

The Cape Fear in Fayetteville reached 58.89 feet as of 7 a.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service reported, just shy of Hurricane Matthew’s crest of 58.94 feet on Oct. 10, 2016. The river was expected to crest at 61.5 feet sometime on Tuesday and remain near that height Wednesday.

The Little River in Manchester upstream near Spring Lake hit a record level on Monday, according to the weather service. The river was at 34.96 feet as of 3:30 p.m. Monday. During Hurricane Matthew (the previous all-time high). it reached 32.19 feet.

On Tuesday at 7 a.m., the Little River stood at 35.95 feet and was expected to crest at 36.7 feet Tuesday, the weather service said.

North Carolina Urban Search and Rescue, the National Guard and Fayetteville Fire-Rescue were on standby in Spring Lake near the Little River to assist Spring Lake Fire-Rescue on Tuesday morning.


North Topsail Beach, NC: Don’t underestimate damage

7:15 a.m.: Mayor Daniel Tuman, in a letter released Monday night, said 77 structures on North Topsail Beach had experienced major damage and another 874 structures sustained minor damage during Florence. North Topsail Beach also had washed-out dunes, road hazards, debris and utility outages, he said.

Tuman cautioned people “to not underestimate the damage sustained.”

“It is not safe to allow our residents to return at this time,” he said. “We hope to allow reentry to our residents on Wednesday, but this is an admittedly optimistic goal. Reentry is contingent upon several factors, the chief of which is safety.”

The mayor said downed cell towers kept the town from providing information as frequently as it had planned during the storm.


Travis Long