City receives hurricane resiliency money

City of New Bern receives $328,500 for hurricane mitigation projects
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 8:37 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -The City of New Bern is working to better prepare for future hurricanes by using the lessons learned during Hurricane Florence in 2018.

City Manager Mark Stephens says New Bern was devastated by Hurricane Florence. “We received upwards of close to 12 feet of water here in New Bern, and the damage that we sustained was roughly over $100 million in commercial and residential damage,” said Stephens.

After seeing just how much damage a storm could do, leaders for the city say they realized they needed to take some steps to be able to lessen the impacts felt by any future storms.

“Hurricane Florence was one that really woke us up, it made us really look at the impact these storms are having to our residential and commercial neighborhoods,” said Stephens.

For the past 15 months, officials with the city have been working to secure funding that would help them put plans in place. Recently, the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency awarded New Bern $328,500.

Amanda Ohlensehlen, Community and Economic Development Manager for the city, helped secure the money. She says with this grant the city will be able to move forward with planning and executing ways to sure up the communities weaknesses.

“The most recent funding from the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency through their local distressed government program will allow the City of New Bern to hire a consultant to build staff capacity to accomplish all of the initiatives that we’re working on,” said Ohlensehlen.

In total since Hurricane Florence, New Bern has been granted more than $1.5 million for resiliency efforts.

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