ELIZABETHTOWN — The Cape Fear River may exceed Hurricane Matthew levels at two measuring stations in Bladen County as a result of Hurricane Florence.
The storm came ashore Friday morning about 7:15 near Wrightsville Beach. Forecasts call for about 30 inches of rain in Riegelwood, in the southeastern part of the county, and 26 inches in Elizabethtown.
The river is expected to reach flood stage on Sunday morning, with the highest levels coming between Monday and Wednesday.
At the W.O. Huske Lock by the Cumberland County line, the river was 34.85 feet Friday morning about 10 a.m. Flood stage is 42 feet and the forecast called for a level of 43.4 feet at 6 a.m. Sunday.
It is expected to crest near 65 feet Monday night into Tuesday.
The record crest at the Huske station is 75.5 feet, set Sept. 22, 1945. The second-highest happened after Hurricane Matthew, hitting 68.46 feet on Oct. 10, 2016.
The Elizabethtown reporting station was at 14.37 feet Friday morning about 9:45 a.m. Flood stage there is 25 feet and the forecast called for a level of 27.7 feet by 6 a.m. Sunday.
Forecast data goes into Wednesday, when the river would still be climbing to more than 36 feet.
The record crest at the Elizabethtown station is 43.20 feet, set Sept. 23, 1945. The second-highest is 39.10 feet on Sept. 23, 1928. After Matthew, the river crested at 35.44 feet on Oct. 11, 2016, the fourth-highest on record.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Alan Wooten can be reached at 910-247-9132 or email@example.com.