September 30th, 2010
02:15 PM ET

Life-threatening flash flooding in Cape Fear, N.C.

This radar image shows remnants of what was Tropical Storm Nicole, combined with another system, hitting North Carolina.

Life-threatening flash flooding is occurring in the Cape Fear region of southeastern North Carolina.

Wilmington, North Carolina, set an all-time 3-day rainfall total today, according to the National Weather Service. With additional rain in the forecast, September 2010 could become the wettest September on record in Wilmington. Records in Wilmington, North Carolina date back to 1871.

The 3-day, all-time record (recorded since Monday) is 19.66 inches. That shatters the old record of 19.06 inches set from September 14 through September 16, 1999, during Hurricane Floyd.

Currently, 20.43 inches of rain have been recorded in Wilmington, North Carolina this month, making it the 2nd wettest September on record in Wilmington. The old record of 23.41 inches set in September of 1999 is in jeopardy.

Here are some selected storm total rainfall in inches for cities in North Carolina from 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, Sempteber 28 through 9:00 a.m. Thursday, September 30:

Wilmington - 8.51

Grifton  - 6.74

Jacksonville -  6.31

Greenville  - 5.77

New River MCAS - 5.73

NOAA: See other local rainfall totals, storm summaries

soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Josh

    Global Warming guy: I agree that global warming is happening, but this is just a small tropical system, and trust me, we here in NC have seen many more powerful storms come through here. This event has nothing to do with global warming. Think before you speak!

    Politics guy: Shutup! That doesn't even make since. When your community is in an emergency, whose republican and whose democrat doesn't matter. All that matters is helping your fellow countrymen. In the wake of 9/11, both sides of the aisle stood and applauded the republican president. Think before you speak and you may not sound so ignorant.

    Flood-plains guy: I agree it doesn't make much since to build in flood prone areas, but they did. Whether or not that makes them idiots is a matter of opinion. However, right now the only thing that matters is that lives are in danger, and we all need to do our part to help them in whatever ways we are able. Think before you speak!

    To all those in the Cape Fear region my families hearts and prayers go out to you! Know that your entire Tarheel family will be there to support you and help you through this disaster, as us Carolinians always do. I hear the sun will be shining tomorrow!

    September 30, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Michael

    Josh, are you an accredited scientist? If not then I would suggest you think before you speak. Whether or not this system has anything to do with global warming is not yet known, so how about you shut up about things you are not qualified to commentate on. Don't speak, just go sit at the kiddie table where you belong, m0r0n.

    September 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      With respect Michael, I am a meteorologist. Prior to civilian life, I worked for the US Department of Defense's Atmospheric and Oceanography Sciences Division. The US Government views global warming as a present and future threat to national security. Who protects the nations security? Oh yea, the military! I believe that I am a little certified to speak about global warming, and this tropical storm has nothing to do with it. Now, if it were January and a tropical storm or hurricane came this far north from the transcontinental convergence zone or equatorial convergence zone, then yeah, you would be onto something. But not this time of the year. It is to be expected that a tropical storm or hurricane will hit the American coast this time of year, and has been for 100s of years.

      By the way, I'm not trying to get into an argument about this or even disrespect you, but it can be dangerous when people believe they are educated on something, or are steered wrongly about something, and they don't actually know what they are talking about. This gives power to the one's who know the difference and allows them to do whatever they want, and sometimes that want turns to greed. I'm simply just trying to correct your possible misunderstanding about global warming. With or without global warming, the US's south and east coast (and sometimes west) will experience tropical storms, hurricanes, and cyclones. Global warming affects their intensity and frequency, and this one is far from being one of high intensity. Right now you have to go to the poles to truly see any of the effects of global warming, and they are not so easily seen to the naked eye as some may want you to think.

      September 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kraznodar

      Josh: The winner – It's you! Thank you for schooling Michael. I learned something from your post too.

      September 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rob

    All of this rain yet UNC-Wilmington (in the Cape Fear region this article is about) doesn't see fit to cancel classes! All of the k-12 schools are closed, half the roads on and leading to campus are closed and several major walkways to class have 6 or more inches of water covering them that must be waded through to travel between the class buildings and residence halls. Yet they feel its a good idea to keep classes on normal schedule?

    CNN if you want some pictures let me know and I'll go take plenty, it's certainly not "life threatening" (unless you lack common sense and are really really unlucky) or as bad as this article makes it out to be but it is however a little damp. My frame of reference being that I just drove from one end of the Cape Fear region to the other end.

    Wrightsville Beach, NC

    September 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shivy

      Yea I had to drive through an intersection that had maybe 2-3 feet of standing water. The water was washing up over my hood and I drive a 4runner! I don't understand what our administration is thinking by not cancelling classes. When hurricane Earl passed through they cancelled classes and we didn't even get any rain. I saw multiple wrecks and stalled cars from the water. I agree its not life threatening provided that you have common sense however the conditions are fairly tricky to drive in and for UNC Wilmington to operate on a normal schedule is a little absurd. There are people with their homes flooded.

      September 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. RobinMO

    Isn't human-induced climate change wonderful. Just think what we have to look forward to.

    September 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. matt earley

    It's really not that bad, just wet.... The real flooding is at Carolina Beach.

    September 30, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike in NC

    to Josh: I don't really care about what our government thinks. They've been wrong about global cooling (mid-70's), world overpopulation (late 60's/early 70's) , Saccharin and now we trust these idiots with the idea that man is killing this planet. We are mere pee-ons in the grand scale of things. Warming & cooling patterns reach back to the earliest days of earth. Ever hear of the ICE AGE. How much human influence did we have on that warming trend that ended it? Respectfully, Mike – Rocky Point

    September 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Mike your exactly right. Warming and cooling trends do date back to the earliest days of earth. However, the population is becoming crowded, the impact made by the human species and society on the earth as a result of this population growth is easily identifiable. Now whether you fear global warming or not, the fact is that it is occurring. It isn't occurring at an apocalyptic rate, for now, but it is occurring. And as the world's population grows, and more and more once 3rd world nations become industrialized, the problem will get worse and worse. Now granted, the earth is going to run through its courses with or without the touch of man, but when we interfere in that natural process that she takes, things are probably going to get real ugly. It's sought of like growing a pearl in a lab instead of finding one in the sea. Sure they are the same at first glance, but when you get down into the chemical make up, you start to see big problems, and less authenticity. You and I won't be here to see it, and our children probably won't either, but one day we will get to a point where we can come back from, and then it will be too late.

      September 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Melanie

    I am in Jacksonville, NC as well and we have had close to 20 inches at our house.

    September 30, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Livin'Large

      Melanie- I walk around with 10" all day long... we should hook up and compare measurements. : )

      October 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Travis

    "I'm bound for the Promised Land I am....." ~ Robert DeNiro

    September 30, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BHF2350

    I was born and raised in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. I now live in the state of Washington, in the Pacific Northwest. I know Wilmington very well. Love the city. My oldest nephew lives in Wilmington with his family. I would be more terrified of snakes than the rain. I lived through Hurricane Floyd. My area looked like someone had dropped a bomb on it. I was here when Mt. St. Helens blew. Hurricane Floyd left damage that looked similar to some of Mt. St. Helens' damage...blown down big trees, etc. For fellow Tarheels...tell me....are you having severe thunder and lightning with the rain storms???? Be safe, all of you.

    September 30, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BHF2350

    I think I misspoke. I believe it was Hurricane Fran, rather than Floyd. Can't remember, except I know it was bad.

    September 30, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kit

    I used to live in Wilmington, some years ago. After devorcing my wife, "The NC Blackheart", I moved to the high mountain North. I think the ex, lives near a creek. Hope she floats;.0

    October 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Judy

    BBJ Environmental has products that can help with the clean up in the carolinas with the floods, our mold and mildew remover along with the amc 5.5 will help!! you can contact at for the local distributor to start the clean up process.

    October 6, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
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