TAR HEEL — Late Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, the Cape Fear River finally neared cresting at one of three measuring stations in Bladen County.
At the W.O. Huske Lock, the river hit 70.69 feet between 7 and 8 p.m. In the next hour, it dropped slightly to 70.61 feet. Thursday morning, the river measured 70.68 feet at 8 a.m. with projections to drop.
The mark of 70.69 feet is the second-highest recorded in more than 100 years of records. The all-time mark is 75.5 feet in 1945. The mark for Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 was 68.46 feet.
Food stage there is 42 feet.
At Elizabethtown, the river was at 42.2 feet at 8:45 a.m. Twelves hours earlier, it had been at 41.68 feet at 8:45 p.m., still yet to have a dip in levels yet. The original forecast was to crest at 41.5 feet; that amount was now up to 42.6 feet.
The record high at the Elizabethtown measuring point is 43.2 feet in 1945. When Matthew hit the area, what was the fourth-highest mark of 36.44 was established.
Food stage there is 25 feet.
The National Weather Service office in Wilmington released more localized preliminary rainfall totals Wednesday morning, showing Elizabethtown at 35.93 inches, Turnbull Creek-Bladen Lakes at 23.67 inches and the Cape Fear River Lock and Dam No. 1 at 22.21 inches.
The NWS said Swansboro, among other communities in the Carolinas, had the second-highest amount of rainfall with 34 inches.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alan Wooten may be reached by calling 910-247-9132 or emailing email@example.com.