Inland N.C. rivers expected to rise to dangerous levels from Florence

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — New evacuation orders from Tropical Storm Florence were issued today in and around the city of Fayetteville. Inland rivers are expected to rise to dangerous levels over the next few days.

Volunteer firefighters went door-to-door today across the evacuation zone, urging holdouts, to head out now.

“If you are in these areas, this is a serious life threatening matter,” said Fayetteville mayor Mitch Colvin. “If you are refusing to leave during this mandatory evacuation, then you need do things like notify your legal next of kin, because the loss of life is very, very possible.”

Forecasters expect Cape Fear River to crest at 62 feet by Monday or Tuesday. On Saturday, it’s barely halfway there.

Florence may dump as many as 18 inches of more rain before she’s finished.

Thirty miles south, the city of Lumberton is bracing for the flooding many see as inevitable.

On Friday, even as the storm raged, an army of volunteers and National Guardsman came to the levee to try to close up a section of the levee that drops down for railroad tracks.

Robin Bridgett brought her family to the Red Cross shelter the day it opened.

“We already know that the flood is coming, so why stay when we know we could come and be safe,” Bridgett said. 

In Fayetteville, the Deep Creek Bait and Tackle Shop was about the only place for hot food — this place  it will likely be flooded out soon but owner Craig Williams kept it open for neighbors, power line workers and first responders.

“We said we would setup for them and try to feed them till we run out of food, which is coming up real fast,” Williams said. 

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