TAR HEEL — The Cape Fear River eclipsed 70 feet at the W.O. Huske Lock on Wednesday morning, still rising toward a crest expected later in the day.
At the 9 a.m. measurement, the Cape Fear was at 70.22 feet. That’s more than 28 feet above flood stage and less than 5 feet from the all-time high set in 1945.
Downstream at Elizabethtown, where more than 35 inches of rain fell with Hurricane Florence, the Cape Fear measured 40.91 feet at 8:45 a.m. and was rising. That’s more than 15 feet above flood stage and just shy of the 43.2 feet record set in 1945.
At both measuring stations, the levels are already higher than what was observed following Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.
The National Weather Service said, through 2 p.m. Monday, the preliminary rainfall total for Elizabethtown was 35.93 inches. That’s the most of any community on its list of measurements. Swansboro was next with 34 inches.
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