Water being released from Falls Lake dam prompting flooding concerns after Matthew

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Friday, October 21, 2016
Water is released from Falls Lake.
Water is released from Falls Lake.

FALLS LAKE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The US Army Corps of Engineers began releasing water from Falls Lake dam on Friday.

Officials originally planned to release water Monday. However, water levels for the Neuse River in Kinston and Goldsboro were too high from Hurricane Matthew, and any release would have caused more stress for residents.

Raleigh resident Pat Behrle lives along the Neuse River near Falls Lake Dam and says her backyard floods every time water is released.

"We wish there was some sort of alert system that we could track it for a while and let them know if you're going to go above this many cubic feet, you know what the flow rate is, send out an alert," Behrle said.

Falls Lake dam

Engineers cited the delayed release as an "emergency deviation," since the release will take place four days later.

Monday's release called for 2,000 cubic feet per second for 24 hours, followed by 4,000 cubic feet per second Tuesday. Friday, engineers began to release at 4,000 cubic feet per second; which translates to nearly 30,000 gallons.

Behrle said the water from the dam release in her backyard is not concerning enough to make her move as of now.

"For us, it's only been a mild inconvenience. Further downstream, it's tragic. It's been disastrous for them," Behrle said.

When water is released from the dam, it takes six days to see any impact to New Bern. The gauge in Clayton will be the first stop, and officials should have an idea of how well the release is going.

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