Tuesday, July 23, 2024

New Hanover County receives more than $4 million in federal funding to remove debris from waterways

Burnt Mill Creek, seen here from Market Street, is one of New Hanover County's larger waterways. (Port City Daily photo / File)
Burnt Mill Creek is one of New Hanover County’s larger waterways. (Port City Daily photo / File)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — New Hanover County has been awarded more than $4 million in federal funding through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program. The money will be used to remove debris and sediments from waterways in the unincorporated areas of the county.

The debris and sediment can be attributed largely to Hurricane Florence and create flooding threats to homes in the region, removing them will increase water flow and reduce some of the threat.

The county applied for the funding in October of last year and received notification of the award one year later, according to a county press release.

“Hurricane Florence caused a significant amount of trees and debris to fall into the county’s streams and creeks, preventing the water from flowing adequately and creating potentially hazardous flooding conditions when we have large rainfall events,” Soil and Water Conservation District Director Dru Harrison said.

“Immediately after Hurricane Florence, county staff began working on this effort and applied for funding. It is a significant amount of work, and we couldn’t start until we received our award letter and then signed an agreement with the [Natural Resource Conservation Service]. We are in that process now, and will be working hard over the next nine months to have all of these watersheds clear of hazardous debris,” she concluded.

Work will be completed within 280 days of a signed agreement with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), which will happen this month.

Debris in the county’s creeks and waterways have been a source of flooding issues including in the Ogden area thanks to debris in Smith Creek.

New Hanover County Engineer Jim Iannucci explained to Port City Daily previously how the heavy rains leading up to Florence weakened the trees along creeks and led to more sediment buildup prior to the hurricane.

Then, with Florence’s unprecedented rainfall, even more, debris and build-up occurred leading to the devastating flooding seen across the county.

Related: New Hanover County addresses Ogden-area drainage issues and ‘Torchwood flooding’

“A map of all impacted creeks and watersheds can be found here and on the hurricane recovery website, and a list of locations and the amount of funding received is below:

  • Dock Creek: $51,796
  • Everette Creek: $249,384
  • Futch Creek: $84,402
  • Howe Creek: $202,011
  • Motts Creek: $473,375
  • Ness Creek: $263,346
  • Pages Creek Watershed: $579,309
  • Prince George Creek: $772,546
  • Shipwatch Dr-Cape Fear River: $3,600
  • Smith Creek: $989,147
  • Sneeden Drive-Pipe: $9,430
  • Whiskey Creek I: $181,246
  • Whiskey Creek II: $536,904″


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