Raleigh neighbors flooding as Falls Lake water released

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Ed Smallwood's front yard is under several inches of water.

What's left of Ed Smallwood's front yard is under several inches of water. But the April monsoon that dropped more than 8 inches of rain on Raleigh didn't cause this.

"God-made floods come up fast and go down fast," Smallwood said. "But when it's a man-made flood, the water goes down when they tell it to go down; when they shut the spigot off at Falls Lake."

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Smallwood has spent the last week pleading with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to put a limit on the amount of floodwater released from Falls Lake, which historically comes flowing downstream and right into his Neuse River neighborhood in northeast Raleigh.

Nine days after those torrential rains, Falls Lake is still swollen at 259.5 feet above sea level. That is 7 feet above full.

RELATED: RALEIGH RESIDENTS PREPARE FOR FALLS LAKE RELEASE

Chopper 11 HD flew over a Falls Lake dam Thursday as engineers began releasing 5,000 cubic feet of water per second to relieve the swollen reservoir.

Smallwood desperately hopes the government does not increase the water release levels to 6,000 cubic feet, equivalent to 45,000 gallons of water per second. He says a water release of that magnitude would be unnecessarily devastating for the neighborhood.

He's also looking for a little help from Mother Nature.

"If we get rain tonight above the lake and the lake levels goes back toward 260, I'm pretty sure they're going to have to go to (6,000) on it," Smallwood said. "But, we're praying they don't."

ALSO SEE: AS NC RIVERS RISE, SO DOES DANGER, EXPERTS WARN

Smallwood said that after he spoke to ABC 11 during the weekend, he received phone calls from North Carolina Sens. Richard's Burr's and Thom Tillis' offices.

Smallwood says they both pleaded on his behalf to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. But, there are no guarantees.

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