North Carolina

Flooded NC city assures residents its drinking water is still safe

Rivers around New Bern, North Carolina have already started flooding

Rivers in New Bern overflow ahead of Hurricane Florence.
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Rivers in New Bern overflow ahead of Hurricane Florence.

Hurricane Florence has created widespread flooding in New Bern and left some residents in need of emergency rescue to escape the rising flood waters.

Despite the devastation, New Bern’s drinking water has not been compromised, the city said Friday in an attempt to debunk rumors.

“CITY WATER IS SAFE TO DRINK! Misinformation floating around about New Bern’s water system. Our water system is fine. It is stable & we have not lost pressure. The water tanks are full and our water is safe for consumption. If things change, we will issue a boil water advisory,” the city tweeted on its official account.

It was the second message from the city concerning its drinking water.

“NEW BERN’S WATER: our water system is fine. It is stable and we have not lost pressure. The water tanks are full and our water is SAFE TO DRINK! If things change, we will issue a boil water advisory,” it tweeted earlier.

New Bern is North Carolina’s second-oldest town and a one-time state capital. The storm’s winds and sheer force pushed water from the Pamlico Sound and into the Neuse River, which overflowed its banks and is causing severe flooding in the city. Water levels have reached more than 10 feet in some parts of the city. More than 200 people have been rescued.

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New Bern’s Water Production & Treatment Division maintains the city’s two water production systems, water treatment plant, 20 production wells, six elevated storage tanks and three ground storage tanks, according to the city.

Hurricanes and heavy flooding can have an impact on drinking water — from broken pipes, sewage spills or damage to water treatment facilities, according to the state of Florida.

Storm surge and flooding has already begun to impact North Carolina coastal communities as a result of Hurricane Florence by Friday morning, Sept. 14, 2018.

Brian Murphy: 202.383.6089; Twitter: @MurphinDC
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