NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – In an effort to prepare for natural disasters in eastern N.C., city officials are holding public input presentations regarding the city’s storm plan.
They’re holding the meeting to make the public aware of efforts they’ve been taking since hurricane Florence and listen to the publics’ suggestions to help with their planning process.
New Bern is vulnerable to flooding threats and hurricane Florence brought around $100 million dollars in city-wide damages. Since then, New Bern officials are taking action.
“The plan started immediately after Florence. We spent two to three years taking community input from our city departments, as well as from experts around the country,” said Matthew Schelly, interim director of development services. “We developed a series of strategies, and a large number of actions to take to help us prepare, respond and recover from the next major event.”
Schelly said hurricane Florence damaged over four thousand homes and three hundred businesses. But he said he wants people to know they’re taking action.
“We’ve already started several of the action items. One is a stormwater enhancement project for the Duffy field neighborhood, and we are also now beginning a second project for the improvement of the Duffy field canal,” said Schelly.
The plan itself is divided into six categories around economics, infrastructure, health and safety, cultural and environmental resources and housing.
During Wednesday’s meeting, the public pointed out the areas of concern in New Bern around flooding and listed their recommendations.
“In the plan at least, we have identified 10 top priority items out of the 61 various action items that are actually specific action items listed in the plan. But we realize this kind of response actually needs way more than 61 action items, so we’re hoping that the public will come up with some more ideas,” said Schelly.
The next public input meeting on the resiliency plan will be on Monday, Jan. 23, from 4:30-7:30 p.m., at New Bern City Hall, 300 Pollock St. For more information on the plan, visit New Bern.