Flood prevention measures discussed

Published 10:32 am Friday, March 23, 2012

WINDSOR – The town of Windsor is moving forward with every feasible way of stopping flooding.

Monday night, Windsor Mayor Jim Hoggard explained what the town has been working on for the past 18 months to the Bertie County Commissioners.

“I want to bring to you the information we’ve developed over time,” Hoggard said. “We began working on the flooding issue in 1999 and that has continued more after the most recent flood (in 2010).”

Hoggard said the town talked with the Army Corps of Engineers after the flood in 1999, but was not able to complete the study the group suggested.

“The study itself was going to cost almost a million dollars,” the mayor said. “We had no idea what the solution would cost.”

Following the most recent flood of the town, geologists from East Carolina University have been working to help see if they can solve the Windsor’s flooding problem.

“They have been extremely helpful and are continuing to work with us,” Hoggard said.

The most recent development has been the involvement of the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The organization has been intent on trying to find out if any of the recent work in the Windsor area has been a contributing factor to flooding, Hoggard said.

“The upper echelon of the DOT has been here and they are working with us,” he said. “They have assured us if there is a fix, they will provide it.”

Hoggard said DOT officials have hired a private engineering firm to look at the road construction in and around Windsor and the flow of the Cashie River to see if the construction has any bearing on flooding.

“We’ve pointed out that we got the new bypass and that is quite a bit of asphalt,” Hoggard said. “There also have been upgrades at Hoggard’s Mill and Republican which have widened the bridges. All of that makes water run off much faster.”

Hoggard said he didn’t know if that was causing an issue, but was glad officials with DOT were willing to look at the possible causes and do whatever was necessary to fix any issues.

“Whatever the problem is, if it has to do with road ways, they’ve promised us they will address it,” the mayor said. “The study will be done quickly.”

Hoggard said while he felt the town may have answers in the near future; any issues almost certainly would not be addressed before the coming hurricane season.

“As you know, hurricane season is upon us and I can’t see anything happening that quickly,” he said.

Hoggard said geologists had also said the water in the Albemarle Sound is 12-18 inches higher than several years ago, which could also contribute to the problem.

Commissioner Rick Harrell asked if there was anything the county board could do to help.

“We would be happy to have you come with us to the meeting with DOT,” Hoggard said.

Commission Chairman L.C. Hoggard III said he appreciated the board being informed of what was happening.