Ahoskie damage confined to town-owned park

Published 10:37 am Monday, September 26, 2016

AHOSKIE – Damage here from the remnants of what once was Tropical Storm Julia is confined basically to town-owned property.

While there were some cases of flash flooding in the traditional low-lying areas of town, one of the worst being Williams Circle, Ahoskie Manager Tony Hammond stated the Ahoskie Creek Recreational Park and Amphitheater were the most impacted by the heavy rain that fell over a three-day period.

That area of town – Lakeview Drive and Edgewood Circle – was once a residential neighborhood until Hurricane Floyd came calling in 1999. All those flooded homes then were purchased by FEMA, through an agreement with Hertford County, and ownership was eventually handed back over to the town.

“FEMA regulations prevented the rebuilding of homes there due to the future threat of flooding rains, which swell the Ahoskie Creek, such as we saw earlier this week,” Hammond stated. “We worked long and hard over a number of years to plan and construct that park in phases. Nothing is waterproof, but what we have there now can easily be repaired when it floods.”

Hammond added that the structures at the park – to include the amphitheater and restrooms, are built with drainage vents. The picnic shelters were built with an open design to allow water to pass through.

“The creek was still rising on Friday, so it will be early next week before we can go in there and assess any damage,” Hammond noted. “I don’t believe we’ll find much damage, other than having to replace some electrical lines and outlets.

“We purposely put the electrical outlets at the amphitheater stage and the big picnic shelter higher than normal as we planned for weather events such as this. The ones there we’ll need to replace are the ones at ground level that are used for vendors at Heritage Day,” Hammond added.

Other than isolated areas of flash flooding in town caused by heavy downpours on Tuesday and Wednesday, Hammond said the majority of Ahoskie came through the storm okay.

“There were some flooding issues in the Williams Circle area; water there reached the foundations of some homes,” Hammond stated. “We sent in our Public Works staff with pumps to help those homeowners drain that water.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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