Corps to release more water from Falls Lake

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Falls Lake Dam

A Raleigh neighborhood recovering from last week's rain is expected to get saturated with more water this week.

The US Army Corp of Engineers is planning to release water from Falls Lake, and that will eventually end up flooding River Bend Plantation which sits near the Neuse River.

Falls Lake is a flood control project, which means it captures excess rain water to minimize widespread flooding. That water is then released gradually into local rivers downstream.

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Officials have a tentative schedule for this week's water release.

May 1: 4,000 Cubic feet per second (CFS) = 30,000 gallons
May 2: 6,000 Cubic feet per second (CFS) = 45,000 gallons

Sunday, The US Army Corp engineers said it's tweaking the schedule depending on current river conditions and how much more rain the region gets this week.

The 6,000 CFS figure is cause of concern for Ed Smallwood, a River Bend Plantation resident as the Neuse River is behind his home.

Smallwood says every time officials release 6,000 CFS of water his neighborhood gets trapped by flooding. And he says it takes up to two weeks for the water to recede.

"It damages our streets, cuts off our emergency medical access," Smallwood said.

Smallwood says January 2016 was the last time 6,000 CFS of water was released into the neighborhood.

"The Corps of Engineers is so concerned with Smithfield, Goldsboro, Kinston, they don't want anybody to flood, but it seems like we are the sacrificial lamb along the way. Nobody ever talks about our neighborhood," he said.

After living in the neighborhood for 20 years, Smallwood said he's gotten used to the problem, but he says there is a better way to handle it. His suggestion: release less water to lessen the impact to his neighborhood.

"I am very empathetic to the Corps of Engineers. They're not out to harm us, but I also know that it is not necessary to go to 6,000 feet. That's the frustration. Why go to 6,000 when 4,000 works fine?" he said.

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