2011-03-02 Trent River Jones County NC

Tropical Storm Nichole and the preceding several days of continuous rain caused the Trent River and all tributaries to rise into the flood stage. We have tried to paddle the Trent since then and are
blocked again and again. So much so that the upper reaches of the Trent are not navigable even with canoes and kayaks.

This is a crying shame to have this beautiful river be unusable. It should be a clear open Canoe Trail its entire length  in Jones County.

But more importantly it should be kept open and clear of all strainers and blown down trees to reduce the flood levels by a foot or more. The Trent rose by twenty feet in places! Every blown down tree and resulting strainer creates a partial dam!

Today we saw one very clear evidence of this. We put in at Kenny Mett’s Family Camp ground on Rte 41 between Rte 58 and Comfort. At very short distance upstream we came upon a huge strainer. It was clear to all present that this one strainer alone raised the level of the river by two inches!  In short, the river level above the strainer was 2 inches higher than the river level below the strainer. We picked a bag of trash out of this one strainer alone.

Now, multiply this by the thousands of such blockages (partial dams) on the Trent and all tributaries and you come up with a higher flood level of one to two feet more than necessary.

Imagine the savings in flood damages to homes and businesses and crops this lower flood level would incur.

It is extremely important  therefor that our Jones County Commissioners take immediate action to clear the Trent River and all tributaries and make them free running streams unobstructed by fallen trees and the resulting strainers acting as partial dams.

While taking this action they should also include provisions that will be intact to immediately remove future obstructions as they occur so this extremely high flood level will never occur again.

We are asking Franky Howard, Jones County Manager, to present this proposal to the Commissioners for their immediate consideration.

We moved further up stream and encountered  what you see below. This was at N 3502.19 and W  07728.039. Thanks to Wayne Ryan of Cape Carteret we were able to paddle further upstream.

Al Pace of Swansboro helped Wayne and here is the result.

We were able to paddle further upstream to N 3502.1265 W 07728.406 where we encountered another very bad strainer forcing us to turn around.

We made good fast progress downstream where we had cleared past our launching point and were delighted to get all the way to the Chinquapin Chapel Road where the “near Trenton” river gauge is located. A short way past the bridge the river was blocked again and our trip came to and end.

The guage read 4.48 feet at morning of Feb 28th, rising to 4.50 morning of March 01, and 5.00 feet at morning of our paddle and peaked at 5.25 midday on the 3rd.

At flood stage during Nichole the river rouse to over twenty feet in places!!

Al Pace if Swansboro accompanied Wayne in his boat. Al will have more pictures for us soon. Elmer Eddy of Trenton rode with Leo Schmidt of Emerald Isle in his motorboat. Leo took three full bags of trash to the dump on his way home.  Bill Murray of Pine Knoll Shores and Scott Brown of Morehead City paddled along with us in their kayaks. Our thanks to all of you.

Anther note to the Jones County Commissioners. The Federal Government has charged the US Coastguard to keep all navigable rivers open to navigation. The Trent River and all its tributaries are considered to  be  navigable waters Please list every reason why The Trent should be kept open to navigation. They may just ask the Core of Engineers to do this.

Hopefully,  Elmer

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