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Rains cause floods around New Centre


The rain has subsided, but it’s still the talk of the town. Flooding caused all sorts of problems in Wilmington Monday night.

Stranded drivers were left wading through the streets and people were forced out of their apartments near College and New Centre. Crews have busy been all day assessing the damage and cleaning up.

“About an hour-and-a-half into the storm, water on Racine was up to my waist and cars were getting stuck left and right,” said Carter Smith.

Up the street, Sandra Privette had to clear debris from her property. “We looked like we had waterfront property, and you needed a row boat or a canoe just to get around.”

Privette says debris is the cause of the problem flooding on along Racine and New Centre drives.

What is it about these roads that cause them to flood at any sign of rain just over a few inches? That’s the question residents in this neighborhood say they want an answer to.

Officials say to begin with 6-and-a-half inches of rainfall in just two hours topped the threshold for the drainage system.

Flooding is also an issue when debris clogs the drains.

“As a result the water didn’t really have anywhere to go. It’s a relatively flat area it doesn’t run off very quick and six-and-half inches of rain does not absorb into the ground very quickly,” said Warren Lee of NHC Emergency Management.

Just last May, a downpour flooded Racine leaving cars stranded then, too.

The city is responsible for clearing debris along roadways and drains within city limits. Clearing private property is the responsibility of the owner.

Workers are still inspecting the drain system to make sure everything is running properly and assessing the damage. Once complete, the county could apply to the state’s rainy day fund for financial help.

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Story summary

videoThe rain has subsided, but it’s still the talk of the town. Flooding caused all sorts of problems in Wilmington Monday night.

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