KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – In Kinston, he worst is quickly approaching as the Neuse River is expected crest Friday night.

As the river is already at record levels and continues to rise, businesses are preparing for the worst.

“Anywhere there’s any kind of opening where any water could potentially come in we’ve got sandbags there and ready,” said Allie Steinbeck, Manager at Sugar Hill Pizzeria.

This is the scene for many businesses in Kinston as folks prepare for the Neuse River to crest.

Luckily, the city has had time to prepare by closing roads, sandbagging and asking people to evacuate.

Business owners in downtown say the Kinston Chamber of Commerce provided them with sandbags, all with the help of local volunteers.

However, the chamber says prior devastation from Hurricane Floyd may have been their saving grace.

“It was helpful we at least had Floyd’s flood maps, we’ve been looking at those all week and going along where that had flooded and just making sure we had businesses covered,” said Erin Passailaigue with the Kinston Chamber of Commerce.

A majority of businesses on Herittage Street were closed Friday any with signs saying it was all due to the flooding.

For Sugar Hill Pizzeria, they’re preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.

“If the river comes up maybe a foot more like they’re saying then hopefully if anything we will see it in the streets but not in our building,” said Steinbeck.

As the river continues to inch up the pedestrian bridge, more damage is expected. Passilaigue says the coming weeks are really when the most help will be needed.

“You know everybody’s ready to help right now but we need every body ready to help in the coming weeks because the cleanup is going to be a real test.”