Lower Neuse Riverkeeper Flight Report

Aerial view of flooding near Smithfield, NC on 4/27


by Travis Graves, Lower Neuse Riverkeeper

Last Thursday, the 27th of April, I conducted an aerial investigation of the impending flood waters in the middle and upper Neuse basin areas. We flew to Jones County, following the Trent River where I saw some minor flooding in low lying areas along the Trent, but no roads, buildings, or CAFO facilities were under water.

From Jones County I flew along the Neuse River to Smithfield. Traveling upriver from the Seven Springs area, flooding was visible and became worse the farther up river we traveled. I observed some minor flooding around the HF Lee coal ash storage sites, and then up to Smithfield, following the Neuse. Moderate flooding around the Smithfield area, a few buildings and roads were under water, but no flooded CAFOs were seen.

From Smithfield we flew to the headwaters of Contentnea Creek, where I observed more flooding the along the entire length of Contentnea Creek. Buildings, roads, and CAFO spray fields flooded and some flood waters approaching lagoons, but no signs of inundated or breached animal waste lagoons.