WILMINGTON DISTRICT GRAPHIC
SOUTH ATL ANTIC DIVISION
“The long-term goal of these projects is to reduce damages to infrastructure during flooding events. Less [damage means] less to repair, and a lower post-storm cost for the public. The goal is to invest in protection with our non-federal sponsors before the storm arrives, in order to save in the long run,” Bingham said. “It is a great investment because it costs a lot more to repair damages after a storm as opposed to the cost of protecting these areas from possible damage.” The Surf City and North Topsail Beach CSRM and the Carteret County CSRM projects will complete initial construction, and then enter a 50-year periodic nourishment phase. The Princeville FRM construction project has national significance. The town of Princeville has a unique historic and cultural importance in American history as the first town in the United States founded by previously enslaved persons after the Civil War in 1885. The town suffers from severe flooding from the Tar River, which has caused a significant number of lost residences and homes. Feasibility studies were started for the Neuse, Tar-Pamlico, and Lumber River Basins, as well as for Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach. These studies are beneficial to the public as in-depth reports will be completed to solve flood risk management problems for the study areas and attempt to reduce risks associated with future flood events. The Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach feasibility studies are essential to preparing these hurricane-prone areas for future storms.
In the past 166 years, 37 hurricanes and 49 tropical storms have passed through the area. The direct and indirect impacts have caused substantial erosion and damage from winds, waves, and elevated water levels. These studies will help prevent the destruction of structures, homes, and businesses in the Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach areas. The remaining feasibility studies cover three North Carolina river basins that were severely affected by hurricanes within the last 25 years. The purpose of these studies is to pursue flood damage reduction measures that would help reduce the risk of future flooding. Two of the studies are being performed by other USACE districts: Tar-Pamlico River Basin by the Pittsburg District, and Lumber River Basin by the Charleston District. All of these fully funded emergency supplemental projects means that there is a lot of work that lies ahead for the Wilmington District. Typically, funding is broken into annual budgets and allocated each fiscal year, but each Disaster Relief Act of 2019 project was approved for full project funding at one time. This sets the expectation that completion of the projects will occur promptly, as no funding interruptions exist to slow the implementation of the project. This will require USACE to work quickly and efficiently, without affecting existing regular-funded work. Much visibility exists for this program, as congressional staff, project sponsors, the USACE vertical chain, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works are ready to complete these projects. n 61