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New Bern discusses resiliency plan to deal with future storms

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:59 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - It’s been nearly three years since Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina, and there are still families and businesses picking up the pieces after the massive destruction the storm caused. Now the City of New Bern is ready to move forward with plans to make the area more resilient against these disasters.

It’s taken more than a year of data collection and research but finally, New Bern leaders like Director of Development Services Jeff Ruggieri are ready to present the Resiliency and Hazard Mitigation Plan.

“This one really does dive a little deeper. A lot of people think resiliency it’s about just floods and natural disasters but we’re talking about you know health resiliency, economic resiliency, infrastructure resiliency, government operations so it really does encompass everyday life,” explained Ruggieri.

The work to improve the city’s storm vulnerabilities came following the devastation brought on by Hurricane Florence. “We’re still seeing effects of Florence today, I’ve been dealing with Florence since the day it happened and it’s still hurting our community, I still hear from people that are suffering,” said Ruggieri.

Ruggieri says the city is now looking for the community’s input on the plan. “You know it’s all based on public input and things we’ve heard from the community so I would imagine that it would be well received but we may need to tweak some things, maybe it sparks some other conversations about things maybe we missed that we’ll add into.”

Following Thursday night’s meeting at City Hall project organizers will draw up a final plan and will present that to the City’s Board of Aldermen in a few months for final approval and then will begin implementing the plan.

If you are unable to attend the public comment meeting, you can see more details on the plan and submit feedback by visiting New Bern’s website, https://www.newbernnc.gov/departments/development_services/resiliency.php.

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