ONLINE JULY 18, 2019 •
VOL. 1, NO. 29
Oh, no, not again! It's deja vu for the
Vermont Street culvert at Meadowbrook Branch in South
Smithfield where last Friday's flash flooding washed
away a portion of the street, just as Hurricane
Matthew's rainfall did in October 2017.
After an extended dry period, Smithfield
gets way too much rainfall in one night
We surely needed the rain that
finally found Smithfield last Thursday night and early
Friday morning, but not that much in such a short
period of time!
The National Weather Service reporting station at
Johnston Regional Airport (3 miles northwest of
Downtown Smithfield) measured a total of 6.58 inches
between 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 11 and 6:55 a.m.
Friday, July 12. About 4.5 inches of that total was
recorded between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Friday.
Too much for our public drainage systems to "process"
all at once.
The worst washout was the collapse of Vermont Street
where it crosses Meadowbrook Branch, a relatively
small stream we neighborhood kids called "the ditch" (damage
pictured above). It was ironic that the only
culvert failure along Meadowbrook was where the street
and large pipe had been reconstructed after a similar
failure caused by Hurricane Matthew's flooding almost
two years ago.
Town Manager Mike Scott said this week that it may
take as long as three weeks to get Vermont Street open
again. "We may get it done sooner but we have not yet
selected a contractor," he told the Sun on Tuesday.
Estimated cost of repairs: $15,000 to $20,000, which
the town manager said would likely come from $272,128
that's budgeted in the General Fund for contingencies
Another repeat "casualty" of last weekend's
flash flooding, WRAL-TV reported, was the West
Smithfield home of Harbor Inc., the local shelter for
victims of domestic violence. The same thing occurred
there with Hurricane Matthew --- not long after Harbor
had moved into its newly constructed home.
The threat of swift water on the Neuse following last
Friday's storm prompted postponement of the 2nd annual
River Rat Regatta, scheduled for last Saturday,
until August 17.
Meanwhile, the recently resurrected Fifth Street
Community Garden "survived" the gushing waters of
adjacent Spring Branch with plant beds, and
railroad underpass flooded from the unexpected
deluge that fell upon the town early last Friday,
but it didn't take long for the stormwater to drain
away. Town Councilman Marlon Lee appears to be
celebrating that development after checking out the
situation shortly before 9:30 Friday morning, when
Market Street was reopened to traffic. The underpass
used to flood frequently after heavy rainstorms, but
that occurrence has become uncommon since the town
completed a massive drainage "mitigation" project 20
Smithfield floods on this week's OBSERVATIONS
Mayor Andy Moore files for re-election;
4 candidates have filed for 3 council
Former Councilman Roger
Wood of Whitley Drive and Jim Snyder of
West Davis Street filed this week for seats up for
election on the Smithfield Town Council this year.
They join incumbents Stephen Rabil of Wilson
Street and John Dunn of Eden Drive, who
previously had filed for re-election to second
Meanwhile, Andy Moore has filed for
re-election to a third two-year as mayor.
Mr. Wood won a close election to a district council
seat, representing West Smithfield, in 2013 but chose
not to run for re-election in 2017.
Mr. Snyder ran for mayor in 2015, when Andy Moore was
This year's election will fill three at-large council
seats. That means all of Smithfield's voters will mark
their ballots for up to three candidates among those
listed, with the top three vote-getters winning
election without a runoff.
The deadline for candidates to file is noon this
Friday (July 19). Election Day is Tuesday, November 5.
is replacing electric meters in North Smithfield
The Town of Smithfield's
Electric Department is upgrading electric meters north
of Hospital Road and east of Buffalo Road during the
next few weeks. It's part of an ongoing project to
install new digital meters throughout town that can be
read remotely as a cost-cutting measure.
Town Manager Mike Scott reported at last week's Town
Council meeting that all of Smithfield's electric
meters, commercial as well as residential, should be
converted to "automated" Nex Grid meters within the
next 18 months. The old meters have already been
replaced in some residential neighborhoods.
What it was was big boys' Wiffle Ball
North Carolina Wiffle Ball Tournament was played
at Smithfield last weekend, when 12 teams competed
in the 31st annual edition.
All told, 22 games were played Saturday and
Sunday, and a Johnston County team named
"Uncensored" took the title, going undefeated in
the double-elimination event. A team called the
'Super Smash Brothers" finished second.
about it on this week's SPORTS & RECREATION
Smithfield's civic-club scene is changing
The Junior Women's League
of Smithfield is filling a void left by the demise of
traditional women's clubs.
READ MORE on this
week's FEATURE PAGE>
Johnston Community College
DR. OLIVER JOHNSON NEW JCC TRUSTEE
Dr. Oliver Johnson (center) of
Smithfield is a new member of the Board of
Trustees at Johnston Community College. Here
he's being sworn in along with Hank Daniels of
Smithfield, reappointed to the board for a
third four-year term, and Heather Choate of
Newton Grove, joining the board as president
of JCC's Student Government Association.
Benton Sawrey of Smithfield also began a
second term on the board this month. For the complete story,
visit the JCC website>