LILLINGTON — Some residents in the Cape Fear region were told to leave their homes because of rising waters brought by Tropical Depression Florence’s heavy rains.
Harnett County officials told residents of the Keith Hills community near Campbell University on Sunday to leave due to rising water in the Cape Fear River.
Other residents in the county who live near the river are strongly urged to leave, according to a statement released by county officials.
“A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for Keith Hills due to the probability that residents may not be able to get out once flooding reaches a certain level and emergency responders may not be able to get in,” the statement said. “Evacuees should make preparations to be away from their homes for at least 48 hours, and possibly longer depending on water levels.”
Harnett County officials think the river will crest more than 11 feet above flood level about 8 p.m. Monday.
“It is believed properties located in the river’s 100-year floodplain will experience flooding, as well as some properties located in the 500-year floodplain,” the statement said.
Zach Shean, the county’s assistant emergency management coordinator, said two water rescues — one Saturday night and one Sunday morning — have been carried out in the Elliott Bridge Road area. No one was injured, he said.
Swift water rescue teams from Cary and Davie County are in the county, Shean said.
As of Saturday morning, 132 people were in Harnett County shelters. Shean said 32 people were in a shelter at Western Harnett High School that was opened for residents evacuating from near the Little River.
The evacuation, which was ordered Saturday for anyone within a mile of the river has been fairly successful, Shean said. Officials continue to monitor the level of the river, which empties into the Cape Fear River.
In Hoke County, officials told residents who live near the McLaughlin Lake area to evacuate.
The Kako dam near the lake will likely overflow its banks, according to a statement posted on a county website. High water levels are expected to exceed those seen during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, the statement says.
Officials had previously told residents who live near the Lumber River to seek shelter because the river likely will overflow its banks.
Lee County’s Emergency Operations Center and the shelter at SanLee Middle School closed at noon Sunday, officials said.
At the height of the storm, 256 people and eight animals were staying in the shelter, according to a statement posted on the county’s website. At 9 a.m. Sunday, only one person was in the shelter.
“All others, including animals, had returned home or found alternate accommodations,” the statement said.
Emergency workers were returning to a normal schedule after the Emergency Operations Center closed, according to the statement. County offices and facilities will resume a regular operating schedule Monday, it said.
Staff writer Steve DeVane can be reached at email@example.com or 910-486-3572.