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Fair Bluff Fire & Rescue issues urgent evacuation message for residents

Posted on: 09.15.2018 at 05:08 p.m.

Sunday 1 p.m. update:

Rep. Brenden Jones, Fair Bluff Fire and Rescue and National Guardsmen are canvassing Fair Bluff neighborhoods encouraging people to evacuate to the shelter at South Columbus High School. Busses are staged at Hill’s grocery store to transport evacuees. Staff photos by Allen Turner. 

Fair Bluff Fire & Rescue Assistant Chief Ken Elliott issued this urgent message to Fair Bluff area residents Saturday afternoon.

“Due to the large rainfall from Hurricane Florence, the National Weather Service has issued a Lumber River forecast showing that on Sunday, the Lumber River will crest in Lumberton at 24.9 feet.

This is higher than with Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Saturday, at 3 p.m., the Lumber River in Lumberton was at 14 feet and was already at minor flood stage impacting several areas of Lumberton.

The National Weather Service has not issued a prediction for the Lumber River in Fair Bluff but they are advising us that the flooding in Fair Bluff will be equal to the flooding from Hurricane Matthew, if not worse. For the residents of Fair Bluff that were flooded due to Hurricane Matthew, we are suggesting for you to plan on leaving prior to this disaster.

The Lumber River will rise quickly again and it will be swift moving water, so you need to plan to evacuate prior to this event in order for you to safely evacuate.

For people wishing to evacuate that do not have transportation, Fair Bluff Fire & Rescue will transport to a shelter. Remember that if you evacuate to a shelter, take your bedding and necessary medications.

Fair Bluff Fire and Rescue will start transporting evacuees on Sunday at noon and will stop at dark due to safety issues.

Please take this situation seriously. Just because the Lumber River looks low does not reflect the amount of water that is coming to Fair Bluff. It is going to rise extremely quickly, just like Matthew.”

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