DOT works to fix flood damage in Pender County

Reported by Laura Sinacori - bio|email
Posted by Theresa Swenson - email
Updated by Debra Worley- email

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Workers for the Department of Transportation spent Tuesday filling in washed out roads and a sinkhole in Pender County, which was under several feet of water from recent storms.

"We had 9 or 10 inches of rainfall in a couple of hours time and that's just like a hurricane," said Pender County's Maintenance Engineer Glenn Crew.  "No area in the county can hardly handle that kind of water without causing some type of damage."

Hampstead residents experienced the most damage from the heavy rainfall.

"I've got my purse wrapped up in a trash bag because I knew I was going to be doing a lot of walking," said Vickie Smith, flood victim.

Smith almost made it to her home on Holly Tree Lane Monday, but she stopped and abandoned her car six blocks away because the water was swelling too high.

"I'm not driving," said Smith.  "I don't want to lose my car in the water and I don't want to run over anybody."

The excessive rainfall caused damage to several roads in Hampstead.  Outside Azalea Lane, a large sinkhole and part of another road off Country Club Drive collapsed.

Across the street from Topsail Greens, a homeowner's garage flooded.

"We've been living here for almost eight years," said Keith Duke.  "This is the worst I've seen. I've got water coming from directions I haven't even seen before."

Parts of the asphalt on Hughes Road caved in, hollowing out some of the areas underneath.  DOT workers said they have to dig up the road and replace the pipe, which could mean Hughes Road will be closed for several weeks.

Nearby residents in the Washington Acres area said the road has had problems before and they want a permanent fix.

"This has been an on-going problem with this poor design of the covert here, it's been constantly breaking down," said Robert Rice.  "It's very discouraging because we've put a lot of effort into the neighborhood and it just keep undermining our efforts."

DOT officials said it could take some time to fix the issues, but they are ready to address them.  Crews said it's impossible to know exactly how much damaged was caused by the rain at this time.  He said it's likely they will find more damage later that may not be visible now.

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