LUMBERTON — The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Robeson County and residents of low-lying areas are being asked to head to emergency shelters.
In effect through 4 p.m. today, the warning advises that “people in low lying areas and waterways should be prepared for rapidly rising water levels.”
According to Stephanie Chavis, emergency services director for the county, Hurricane Matthew has already dropped more than 7 inches of rain in parts of Robeson County, with another 4 to 8 inches expected.
“Robeson County is under a major flash flood warning and according to information received from the National Weather Service, we have not experienced the peak of the storm.,” Chavis said.
The National Weather Service in Wilmington in a morning storm briefing said nearly 11 inches of rain total could fall in Lumberton by 8 a.m. Sunday. The storm made landfall near McLellanville, S.C. earlier today.
The heavy rainfall has produced widespread flooding and county officials are advising residents in low-lying areas to evacuate their homes and head to an emergency shelter.
Emergency shelters are open at South Robeson High School, located at 3268 South Robeson Road in Rowland; Gilbert Carroll Middle School, at 300 Bailey Road in Lumberton; and St. Pauls High School, located at 648 N. Old Stage Road in St. Pauls.
At 1 p.m. additional shelters are being opened at Purnell Swett High School at 11344 Deep Branch Road in Pembroke and Red Springs High School at 509 N. Vance St. in Red Springs.
Additionally, the Lumbee Tribe has designated the Pembroke Boys & Girls Club as an emergency shelter.
About 50 people were using the shelters at noon, Chavis said.
More than 8,000 Robeson residents are without power, Chavis said. Additional emergency responders have been called in.
Among the areas experiencing flooding are: N.C. 904/Gerald Road, Elrod Rd, Iona Church Road, Covington Farm Road, Alfordsville Road, Horne Road, Turkey Branch Road, North Chicken Road between Evergreen Church and Paul, N.C. 41 and Old Stage Road, Rennert and Great Marsh roads, Fair Bluff and South Creek Road, Singletary Church Road, Industrial Drive & near N.C. 41, Chickenfoot Road to Lovette Road, Chickenfoot to Alamac Road, Popes Crossing Road, Pittman Street and Church Street, and Watts Road.