Downtown Whiteville surveyed to develop ‘Floodprint’ plan


WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) – Downtown Whiteville is no stranger to flooding, and the area has suffered from damage in recent years due to flooding from hurricanes and tropical storms.

The city is now partnering with NC State University to see what measures can be taken to protect buildings from future flooding and damage. On Thursday, a survey team with NC State’s Coastal Dynamics Design Lab visited Whiteville to assess the possibility of elevating or flood-proofing buildings in the downtown area.

Information gathered by NC State’s Coastal Dynamics Design Lab will help the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) initiatives in helping areas severely impacted by hurricanes Matthew and Florence.

The team took several interior measurements and photos to help create recommendations for each building, to build what they’re calling a ‘Floodprint’ plan.

“We usually use like modeled 100 or 500-year flood events. So, Hurricane Matthew is a good example, like approximately a 500-year flood event in town, and so for a lot of  buildings, kind of in the most vulnerable spots of downtown Whiteville, you know that’s anywhere from like a one to three foot elevation for like a Hurricane Matthew type of event,” said Travis Klondike, NC State Assistant Research Professor.

The information gathered will establish new flood reduction projects, the team is prioritizing areas in downtown close to Soules Swamp.

“The floor to ceiling height for instance is high enough to allow for a one to two or three-foot elevation change, then we can propose what that looks like and help provide materials for grant applications to help with funding in the future,” said Klondike.

Whiteville Mayor Terry Mann says this has been a plan the city has been working towards for years.

“I hope it gives them a little bit of optimism. You know, it is going to be, — even though this group is committed to finishing their project in 17 months, and they they’ve been in it about 6 or 8 months now, but the process for grant applications and all of that is going to be a slow process. So residents that are affected are going to have to be, –they’re going to have to have patience, because it’s going to take a while to do some of this stuff,” said Terry Mann, Whiteville mayor.

The survey team plans to return to Whiteville in August or September to present first drafts of the recommendations during their next in-town workshops.

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