Crabtree Creek (Neuse River)
Crabtree Creek is a major body of water in Wake County, North Carolina. The creek is a tributary of the Neuse River. It begins in the town of Cary and flows through Morrisville, William B. Umstead State Park, and the northern sections of Raleigh (roughly along I-440) before emptying into the Neuse just southwest of Knightdale.
Crabtree Valley Mall derives its name from the creek, which runs nearby. Crabtree & Evelyn, a store inside the mall, does not take its name from the creek; the occurrence is purely coincidental. Nor is the creek connected with Lewis Crabtree, the former Saracens F.C. Amateurs rugby player. When the mall was constructed, the creek was redirected into an artificial channel behind the mall. However, this channel is inadequate for peak flows.
The highest recorded level of Crabtree Creek, measured at Glenwood Avenue, was 27.69 feet (8.44 m) in June 1973 subsequent to the mall's construction. Tropical Storm Alberto (2006) caused the second highest elevation on record, 23.77 feet (7.25 m); and Hurricane Fran in September 1996 caused the third highest elevation, 23.00 feet (7.01 m). All three events flooded the lower level of the mall, inundated the mall's parking lots, and obstructed traffic in the vicinity. In fact, even moderate storms can cause flooding and wreak minor havoc around the mall; for instance a storm in June 2006 caused an evacuation of the mall and significant property damage. Residents in Raleigh were used to high water in the low lying flood plain in which Crabtree Mall was constructed, which flooded frequently almost yearly before the mall was built. Residents were suspect of the decision to build in the flood plain and some predicted that the mall would have trouble with flooding.
Crabtree Creek frequently overflows its banks elsewhere in Raleigh during heavy rainstorms.
In the Cary/Morrisville area, the creek was dammed to create Lake Crabtree, a 520-acre (2.1 km2) flood control lake. Downstream flooding was only partially alleviated by this and other measures because rapid development of Wake County has greatly increased storm runoff. Lake Crabtree County Park, Raleigh's Crabtree Boulevard and Raleigh's Crabtree Park are all either named after the creek or the adjoining lake.
- Trails.com - Crabtree
- TriangleMTB - Lake Crabtree
- Wake Gov - Lake Crabtree
- Visit Raleigh - Lake Crabtree County Park Visitor Guide
- Realtime level at Crabtree Mall