Jan 18, 2022

North Carolina Officials Report Road Flooding due to High Tides

According to Beaufort officials, studies show flooding events are becoming longer and more frequent.

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Road and street flooding in Carteret County, North Carolina, may be directly linked to the tides, according to local and state officials.

According to Beaufort officials, studies show flooding events are becoming longer and more frequent, reported Carolina Coast Online.

A rain event that occurred Jan. 2 - 3 resulted in flooding on Front Street from the intersection of Orange Street to Sea View Street. Combined with a high tide, the result was needing to close that section of the road to traffic the morning of Jan. 3.

Morehead city saw similar flooding along Shepard Street and public floating docks sustained damage from the flooding as a result. 

“According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) data, sea level has risen a little over 8.5 inches from 1953 - 2020,” Beaufort public information officer Rachel Johnson told the News-Times, reported Carolina Coast Online. “Trending up at an eighth of an inch per year…NOAA predicts that by 2030, annual high tide flooding is likely to be in the range of 7 to 15 days (per year) and by 2050, between 25 - 75 days per year.”

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According to NOAA reports from May 2020 to April 2021, coastal communities saw twice as many high tide flooding days as they did around 2000.

“This trend of near record high tides is expected to continue through April 2022. During these types of flooding events, areas along Front Street and the western end of Pine Street tend to flood from tidal overwash and/or storm water overflow,” Johnson said. “There’s also potential for streets intersecting Front Street to flood as water backs up into storm water drains.”

The drains in this area empty out into Taylors Creek, and as the water in the creek rises, the storm water rises, overflowing out of the inlets.

The board of commissioners voted at its Nov. 8 meeting to allocate $90,000 from the town’s American Recovery Plan Act funds to a project to mitigate storm water flooding on Front Street, reported Carolina Coast Online. 

Additionally, Beaufort public services director and town engineer Greg Meshaw said in the Jan. 5 email that town staff is creating a project to put out to bid, reported Carolina Coast Online. The project will include installing a flexible duckbill check valve in the storm water pipe that discharges into Taylors Creek.

The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management awarded Beaufort officials a $30,000 grant to participate in the North Carolina Resilient Coastal Communities Program. 

Town officials are accepting public input on both the assessment and the portfolio, and there will be a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27 online via Zoom. 

There is also work being done on the new draft of a Coastal Area Management Act land-use plan.

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