Idalia Brings Flooding to Whiteville, County

Hurricane Idalia dropped nearly ten inches of rain on Whiteville last night, with more in some outlying areas. Around 25 area roadways are blocked, including portions of US 701 South near Williams, Pleasant Plains and Gore Trailer Road, and others. N.C. 130 is currently clear, the DOT said.

All north-south and east-west highways into Whiteville are closed, according to Emergency Management Director Hal Lowder. Virgil, Franklin, Madison and multiple streets downtown are blocked. Jefferson Street/Red Hill Road and U.S. 74-76 are still clear.

Railroad Street in Chadbourn and Madison between Pecan Street and Soules Swamp are closed due to high water. Franklin Street in downtown Whiteville is also closed. Streets are also closed in Tabor City, Cerro Gordo and Fair Bluff.

Whiteville firefighters rescued two people, including one man in a wheelchair, from a business on Madison Street. Other fire departments performed water rescues across the county.

Emergency officials are urging everyone to stay off closed and flooded roads.

Floodwaters in downtown Whiteville are continuing to rise as stormwater from western Columbus flows through Soules Swamp. While the water is expected to drop this afternoon, roads will be more dangerous tonight, as weakened trees fall.

Multiple trees were uprooted as tropical storm force winds swept through the county last night. No injuries were reported.

While no tornadoes were spotted in Columbus, several radar indicated funnel clouds were reported in Brunswick County.

Flooding conditions are likely for the next 48 to 72 hours as stormwater runoff makes its way through Columbus County.

Southeastern Community College and Bladen Community College are closed today.


All sessions of court in Columbus County are cancelled today. Attorneys will be notified of new court dates.


The city of Whiteville has set up a self-service sandbag filling station on Mill Street for residents and businesses.


Take the Lake organizers will make a decision Friday on whether the event can be safely held this weekend. The personal fitness challenge includes the Lee Greer Memorial swim. The Take the Plate spaghetti supper is still scheduled for Friday night at Lake Waccamaw Methodist church from 5-7 p.m.

Power company officials are urging residents with generators to throw the main breaker while using generators.  If the breaker is on, power can flow back through the line to the outside service, and can electrocute linemen working on damaged lines and poles.

Many businesses planned to be open in Whiteville today. Gurganous Farm Store reported a few sales of tarps, oil lamps and other storm supplies.

Photos courtesy Anna Kennedy, Adrian Hughes, Steve Peshoff, Nathan Cawley, C.J. Watts and Jefferson Weaver.

Water was approaching the level of the bridge on Peacock Road by noon.
Water is rising at Lake Tabor. (Submitted by CJ Watts)
The area of Whiteville’s Franklin Street between Cregger and NAPA had several feet of water by noon. (Submitted by Adrian Hughes)
Peacock Road saw numerous delays due to flooding and debris. This was near Sidney. (Adrian Hughes photo)