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Post-flooding Update: Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Bolin Creek Tuesday morning, April 25.
The Town of Chapel Hill saw more than 5.25 inches of rain fall in two and a half days beginning Sunday afternoon. The heaviest concentration (more than 2.75 inches) fell between the Monday evening and Tuesday morning rush hours causing hazardous travel conditions, especially Tuesday morning.
“We’re thankful that no one was seriously injured while Chapel Hill was inundated with rain Monday and Tuesday,” said Fire Chief Matt Sullivan. “It’s important for our residents to stay connected with us so we can get crucial safety messages to them in times like this. When hazardous conditions are present, patience and knowledge are key to staying safe.”
“We’d also like to thank all the Town and Orange County officials who braved the harsh elements to keep our community safe,” Chief Sullivan added.
Multiple images were taken around town the morning of April 25. View them on our Facebook page at facebook.com/chapelhillgov.
A number of Town streets were closed due to flooding, including Old Mason Farm Road, Rogerson Drive, the 200 block of South Estes Drive and Cleland Drive. All streets have been reopened at this time.
Chapel Hill Transit CL, D, DX, F and HU routes began Tuesday morning on detoured schedules due to fallen trees and flooded roads. The HU route remained detoured on Tuesday evening from Finley Golf Course Road. The other routes were returned to normal schedules by 9:15 a.m.
Two large trees fell on Tuesday because of the saturated ground. The first happened before 6:45 a.m. in the 900 block of East Franklin Street (between Estes Drive and Boundary Street) which forced Franklin Street down to one lane. Chapel Hill Police assisted motor vehicles until the road was reopened a little after 9 a.m. The second tree was on a neighborhood road, Wesley Drive, near Umstead Drive. The tree completely blocked the road, which—thankfully—has a second outlet. Two trees fell overnight, one at around 1 a.m. on Barclay Road near Bradley Road, the other on Finley Golf Course Road.
In all, 15 motor-vehicle accidents were reported since 7:46 a.m. Tuesday; only one reported weather as a contributing factor. However, one water rescue was attempted Tuesday morning, only to find out that the driver had already successfully vacated the vehicle. Chapel Hill Police responded to two other vehicles that were stuck after driving on flooded streets.
An accident in the northbound lane of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (toward downtown) between Umstead Drive and Longview Street caused major delays during the morning commute. A subsequent accident occurred on the northbound side of the road. Both accidents were cleared around 8:45 a.m.
There were no reports to Town officials of flooded structures or residences. No serious injuries were reported.
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Responding to Flooding in Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill has flood-prone areas. They exist due to topography, building in areas that are flood prone, and decades without stormwater regulation. The Town of Chapel Hill addresses flooding today by planning the best uses for public funds including the construction of new infrastructure. We can expect some improvements from our efforts. Unfortunately, there will still be flooding. We work to educate the public to the hazards, and prepare for emergencies. To view a map of Chapel Hill with the floodplains highlighted, view Chapel Hill Floodplain Map.