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NC Senators work to develop comprehensive flood plan

(New Bern Police Department via AP)
(New Bern Police Department via AP)(KY3)
Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 10:32 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) -North Carolina lawmakers continue to work on a plan to reduce impacts from flooding, and Wednesday they took another step towards that goal.

Senator Jim Perry (R-Lenoir County) and Senator Danny Britt (R-Robeson County) serve as Co-Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Storm Related River Debris and Damage in North Carolina. Wednesday they introduced the “Flood Resiliency and Prevention Act.”

They say since 2016, North Carolina has experienced $22 Billion in damage related to major flood events related to Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Florence in 2018. Eastern North Carolina communities are on the frontlines of flooding, whether it be from tropical storms, hurricanes, or just strong thunderstorms.

Britt says, “We are working on a framework for a comprehensive, strategic flood plan. Over the last 36 months, multiple stakeholder groups have offered valuable insights, research, and conversation on this topic. We are here today to shift gears on this effort. I have had enough conversation; I want to see tangible progress.”

In September 2019, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the “Disaster Recovery Act,” into law. The bill provided $2,000,000 to the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory to conduct research related to flood resiliency in eastern North Carolina. The final report is due June 1, 2021. This report will help serve as a blueprint for North Carolina’s Comprehensive Flood Plan.

North Carolina lawmakers indicate they wish to follow the successful framework implemented by Iowa and Louisiana, which have established very comprehensive plans to address flooding, and they look forward to reviewing recommendations provided by the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory’s Research Team.

The lawmakers say while they can’t stop flooding, efforts in other states prove the impacts can be reduced with cost effective resiliency efforts that will benefit the entire state.

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