Work is currently underway and in the planning stage to clear clogged major drainage tributaries in Mount Olive that handle water flow on the east and west sides of town.
Mayor Joe Scott told residents attending April’s Board of Commissioners meeting that flooding issues in town can be curbed by clearing two major tributaries that handle Mount Olive’s water flow.
They are at Thunder Swamp at N.C. 55, just west of town, and the headwaters of the Northeast/Cape Fear River, just east of town at the Wayne-Duplin county line along East James Street extension.
Both major drainage areas are severely clogged with downed trees, limbs and other debris, primarily from continued storms.
The Thunder Swamp area handles water flow from the west side of town and flows into the Neuse River basin. The Northeast/Cape Fear tributary just east of town handles water flow in eastern Mount Olive.
“There is simply no way for excessive water, particularly during and after excessive rainfall, the water can get out of town. It simply has nowhere to go,” said Town Manager Charles Brown.“This is the reason water cannot get out of Mount Olive and why it backs up and floods.”
Brown said the Thunder Swamp area is targeted for cleaning and Wayne County has already received federal funding and awarded the contract. Brown said he has no time frame for that area to be cleared of storm debris so water can eventually flow into the Neuse River.
The Northeast/Cape Fear tributary east of town is in neighboring Duplin County.
He said Duplin County leaders have plans to clear the stream of excessive debris, but he has not been brought up to date as to when the work may begin.
Both streams that handle Mount Olive’s flow of water into the two river basins are clogged to the extent that there is actually no visible flow of water and the two entire areas are polluted and stagnant.