Raleigh homeowners 'not concerned' about flooding

Andrea Blanford Image
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
More rainfall brings higher risk of falling trees
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What to look for to prevent falling trees

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to release more water at a higher rate on the Neuse River to relieve a swollen Falls Lake this week.

For the first time, homeowners living downstream in north Raleigh's River Bend Plantation aren't that worried about it.

"I'm hopeful that since they've torn out the Milburnie Dam that that will decrease our chances of flooding," said Kenneth Everhart, a longtime resident of River Bend who's had up to 18 inches of water under his house in years past.

Crews demolished the old Milburnie Dam, downstream from their neighborhood, late last year, allowing for more water to flow down the Neuse River, right past their homes.

On Tuesday, a Corps spokesperson told ABC11 they were releasing 500 cubic feet per second, slightly elevated from the normal 100 cubic feet per second. However, with more rain in the forecast, they expect to release upward of 4,000 cubic feet per second or 30,000 gallons per second.

While there's no longer a risk of severe weather, one threat remains: saturated ground can cause some trees to topple over.

Katie Rose Levin, an arborist with Raleigh-based tree care company Leaf & Limb, showed ABC11 signs to watch for when checking trees in your yard.

"When you get hurricanes or weeks of rain like we're getting, even healthy trees- if they're in really saturated or wet soils- they can start presenting problems," said Levin.

Levin suggested checking the roots first.

  • If you see trees with developed buttress roots running above ground, it's likely healthy and stable.
  • For trees that look like a lollipop going into the ground, Levin suggests using a hand rake or calling an expert to inspect the buried roots and make sure they're strong.
  • Pay close attention to older, bigger trees.
  • Some of these trees can have pre-existing conditions in their base. Levin says you should look for mushroom growth on the base of the tree as a sign of trouble.
  • Trees standing near or in water.
  • Rushing water can strip away the soil the tree uses to grip the ground.
  • And while roots are used to the water, the tree trunks aren't.

"If this is sitting in water it's just like having your finger wrapped in a bandaid forever - it's more likely to get an infection," Levin said, motioning to the trunk of a tree.

Levin said if you have any concerns, call a professional. But remember, "It can be really scary when trees fall and it does- it can be dangerous, it can create a lot of damage," she said. "Trees rarely fall."