Flood warning issued, Franklin residents cautious

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by Arrianee LeBeau, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on May 2, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Updated Friday, May 2 at 5:21 PM

FRANKLIN -- People in downtown Franklin are watching the rising Blackwater River closely. 
 
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning Friday morning for Southampton County, Isle of Wight, Suffolk and Franklin.

Matt Woods works at Jack Jr's Towing across the street from Barrett's Landing Park and has been getting water level updates from the Downtown Association.
 
"Times like this, when we have a threat of water rising, a lot of the business owners and residents will start watching the boat landing and gazebo over there and keeping an eye on where it is," said Woods.

The river was at 10.5 feet Friday and expected to rise another foot by Saturday.  Flood stage is 10.8 feet.

Gerry Patnesky owns Alphabet Soup in downtown Franklin and knows all too well how threatening the rising water can be. She was one of many who saw the worst of it back in 1999 after Hurricane Floyd.
 
"It was awful. We didn't realize that it was going to flood, so I was here the night before and we put things up higher," said Patnesky.

With this latest warning, many say they'll be more cautious and move to higher ground before it's too late.
 
"We'll watch today and see what happens and if it gets any worse then I'll have to pack," said Patnesky.

The National Weather Service is advising people use extreme caution near riverbanks. Also, move to higher ground immediately if the rising water becomes a threat. 

Isle of Wight Dispatch reported that Mill Swamp Road at Mill Swamp Church was impassable because of high water Friday afternoon.

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