Easley urges caution as flooding continues

RALEIGH Several streams, creeks and rivers are still at or near flood stage after rain that measured as much as seven to eight inches fell in some parts of the state.

"Everyone needs to know that currents are still strong and hazardous in many areas," Easley said. "Please continue to be careful when driving and stay off flooded roads."

Major flooding is occurring in Raeford, but it is not affecting homes or businesses. There is also minor flooding in Smithfield, Clayton and Manchester near Pope Air Force Base. The Neuse River at Smithfield is expected to crest about 5 feet above flood stage at 2:00 a.m. Monday morning. That will cause some Smithfield streets to flood and may affect a nearby water treatment plant.

Six people canoeing on the Haw River in Chatham County Saturday night were dumped into the river when the canoe overturned. Local authorities rescued four people last night and the other two spent the night on an island in the river. They were rescued Sunday morning after the waters receded.

Easley reminded people that they should respect the power of floodwaters.

He said there have been no reports of major injuries or fatalities related to the storm. Damage assessment teams from the county and state will begin inventorying the damage right away. State emergency officials are also monitoring conditions in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico to determine if North Carolina will be affected from other storms.

At the height of Hanna there were nearly 60,000 homes without power and 49 shelters opened in 24 counties that served about 1,900 people. By Sunday morning, power had been restored to all but 3,000 homes, but most of those outages were not storm related. All of the shelters are now closed.

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