Wrapup of day’s events in Bladen

Matthew’s trail of destruction continues to be felt days after the storm left Bladen County.

Tuesday, the National Guard and Bladen County emergency personnel were busy going door to door evacuating people from the Kelly and Rowan areas after a helicopter tour revealed encroaching water levels.

“The South River and Cape Fear River both cross 701, and ithe water is still rising on the end of the road near Rowan and Kelly,” said Emergency Services Director Bradley Kinkaw.

The voluntary evacuation is being heeded by some, but not all residents, according to Kinlaw. He expects the evacuation to last until Thursday.

While rising water levels for the Kelly area are not encouraging, the news today was not all bad. The voluntary evacuation that was issued earlier in the week for Tar Heel and White Oak after a dam burst in Sampson County was lifted Tuesday, allowing residents to return to their homes.

“Many of those people don’t have anything to return to,” said Kinlaw. “Their homes may still be there, but everything’s gone.”

“What we’re seeing is definitely Floyd level or worse,” he added.

Roads continue to be a concern for emergency personnel. Kinlaw urged residents to stay home if at all possible and, if they have to be out, to exercise caution.

“Please don’t go around barricades,” he said. “They’re there for your protection.”

Roads whose status has changed include: Brown Creek Church Road closed south of Cromartie Road; Clyde Evans Road south of N.C. 242 closed; Hwy. 11/53 at Pender County line closed.

“US. 701 at Colly Creek was repaired and is open,” said Bradley Kinlaw, director of Bloaden County Emergency Services. “Mercer Mill will open tomorrow by lunch and a U.S. 701 detour will be established. We hope to have N.C. 41 at Colly Creek repaired and opened by the end of the day tomorrow. We will continue to stabilize locations as water levels fall.”

There is still no timeline on restoration for roads, and DOT personnel report that waters must recede before even the evaluation stage begins.

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