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New plan brings counties together to plan for natural disasters - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

New plan brings counties together to plan for natural disasters

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Officials in Pitt, Jones, Lenoir, Greene and Wayne counties are working together to make communities in the East safe.

The Neuse River Basin Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan aims to prepare communities before a natural disaster happens.

"We're looking to reduce any damages to both property and the lives here in the community," said James Rhodes, the Pitt County Planning Director.

Rhodes says it makes sense to work together on this since natural disasters can affect counties in the East the same.

"Natural disasters don't start and stop at these political boundaries, they're going to go across municipal boundaries, they're going to flow right into other counties," Rhodes said.

The plan focuses it's attention on 11 natural disasters that could strike the area. 6 of those were classified as having a critical impact here, including hurricanes, floods, severe winter storms, thunderstorms and windstorms, tornadoes, and droughts and heat waves.

Randy Skinner, the Greene County Emergency Services Director, says the goal is to plan ahead.

"Building inspectors in this county know where the flood zones are and that's hopefully caught at the time they get building permits," Skinner said.

Last year, Greene County adopted a new ordinance requiring houses built in flood prone areas be two feet above the flood level. For houses that are already built, education is critical.

Counties are required to have plans like this to be eligible for federal disaster assistance.

The plan is still in draft, and must go before state and federal officials before it is finalized.

In Greene County, people can register for emergency messages. To learn more, click here.

To read more about the plan, click here.

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