New Bern moves forward with flood resiliency plan

New Bern

The City of New Bern announced Wednesday that it has received a total of $30,000 in grant funding and can move forward with creating a Flood Resiliency Plan to prevent flood damage and recover more quickly after flooding.

Most recently, Swiss Bear, Inc. received a $15,000 grant from Wells Fargo. Those funds will be paired with a $10,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a $5,000 grant from Duke Energy, which will allow the city to begin phase one of resiliency planning. 

The flood resiliency plan consists of three phases.  The first phase will include data collection, a comprehensive look at the extent of impact to the New Bern area, and the structural damages to commercial, residential, and municipal buildings.

The second phase of the plan involves assessment of those impacts.  This phase will identify local and regional vulnerabilities and the social, economic and environmental consequences of hazard events.

The third and final phase of flood resiliency planning will be compilation and distribution of a list of mitigation and resilience recommendations for the City. A separate list will be created specifically for home and business owners that addresses the unique needs of each of the City’s neighborhoods.  Then, outcomes and recommendations will be prioritized for implementation.  The community will be involved in all three phases.  

Mark Stephens, New Bern City Manager, said, “Ultimately, our goal is to foster a resilient community, but first, we must be thorough and deliberate in a course of action to develop a strong, comprehensive resiliency plan.  We will look at and study New Bern from a post-disaster context, and how we can improve or eliminate those outcomes.” 

Overall, development of the Flood Resiliency Plan is estimated to cost about $90,000.  Swiss Bear and the City will work together to publish a Request for Qualifications/Proposals to engage an experienced consulting firm to develop the plan. Additional grants are being sought to fund phases two and three.

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