Storm Surge: Resident surprised by creek overflow

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Standing on his back porch, Justice Holmes discusses the high water that has risen off Charles Creek into the backyard of his home on Edge Street, Saturday afternoon.


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Justice and Kenya Holmes were shocked Saturday to see water from Charles Creek come within four feet of their patio when it had not been raining.

In the year and half they have lived at 523 Edge Street, on the banks of Charles Creek, they have seen the creek overflow into their backyard a few times, but never as much as on Saturday.

Justice Holmes said he was concerned that the water might come into his house if it rained hard later in the day.

“It’s going to be closer than that,” Holmes said as he pointed to how close the water had already come to the edge of his patio. “It’s just starting. This is just starting.

“This is the first time I have seen it high when it wasn’t raining,” Holmes continued. “It’s not even raining yet. So it’s going to come in.”

What the Holmes family was experiencing was flooding from a storm surge on the Pasquotank River that pushed water up into Charles Creek Saturday.

Christy Saunders, emergency management coordinator for Pasquotank and Camden counties, said storm surges from Tropical Storm Florence caused some minor flooding of roads in the area. The surge was produced by increased water levels in area rivers and a southeast wind over the Albemarle Sound.

“This is consistent with the forecast received from our National Weather Service Office in Wakefield,” Saunders said. “Overall conditions will continue to improve through Monday with below minor flooding conditions expected.”

In the southern part of Pasquotank, rising water on Halls Creek flooded yards in the mobile home park at Hall’s Creek. Water also came up over the ramp and pier at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission boat ramp on the creek.

Holmes said he was fascinated by the rising water, especially given that the sun was shining. From the back steps of the house fish could be seen jumping in what usually is his backyard.

“There’s fish in the driveway,” Holmes said. “Crabs. Turtles.”

Holmes said even during heavy rains he had never seen the water that deep in the backyard.

“This is the deepest it has ever been without it raining,” Holmes said. “Normally this is all grass and the kids can play.”

Although he moved most of the items in the backyard to get them out of the way of the rising water, Holmes said he he purposely left tires in the yard as a way to monitor how high the water was rising. Holmes said he didn’t get sand bags and wishes now that he had.

Holmes, who owns his own business, Routine Lawn Care, said he likes living on the bank of Charles Creek and considers the occasional high water a relatively small price to pay for the enjoyment he gets from fishing and crabbing in his own yard.

“It’s worth it to me,” Holmes said. “It does this maybe four or five times a year. But this is totally worth it.”

While he can’t usually fish from his patio, Holmes said he expects that he will on Sunday.

On a regular basis he catches catfish, perch and crabs in his backyard, he said, and sometimes catches a gar. He said even though some people say gar are not good for eating he likes to cook and eat them.

As the water continued to rise Saturday Holmes was taking it all in stride.

“If this comes up in the house I won’t even be mad because nature is going to do what it is going to do,” Holmes said.

Holmes said that even if the water did rise high enough to come into his house he didn’t expect it would stay for long.

“It will go right back out,” he said.