The dominant sources of flooding in Craven County and its municipalities are storm surge and riverine flooding. Storm surge from the Atlantic Ocean propagates into the Pamlico Sound, which further propagates into the Neuse and Trent Rivers; riverine flooding from heavy rainfall occurs on Clubfoot, Maple, Mauls Swamp, Mills Branch, Mosely, Samuels/Rocky Run, Scotts, Snake Swamp, Swift, Tucker, Village, and Wilson Creeks, and the tributaries of Mills Branch and Mosely Creeks.
North Carolina also experiences hurricanes, tropical storms, and severe extra-tropical cyclones, known as "Nor'easters." Historically, these storms have been known to produce severe flooding and extensive property damage. Additional flood losses are caused by the cumulative effect of obstructions in the floodplain which cause increases in flood heights and velocities, and by development that is inadequately elevated, flood proofed, or otherwise unprotected from flood damages.