County Working To Buy Properties Located In County Flood Plain
CHARLOTTE, NC – A rush of water flowing into the creeks, rivers, and lakes led to widespread flooding on Thursday in Mecklenburg County.
“We have hundreds of buildings at risk of flooding,” said Tim Chapman with Charlotte Storm Water Services.
He says the utility has purchased about 450 homes and businesses over the last 20 years that are located in a floodplain.
“In almost all of these areas where we have bought homes and businesses have flooded to some extent in this event,” said Chapman.
Those areas include Riverside Drive along the Catawba River. Even though the rain has passed, the water will continue to rise.
“Just a tremendous amount of water over a huge area,” said Brandon Jones, the Catawba River Keeper.
He says areas that feed the Catawba River saw anywhere from 4 to 9 inches of rain in less than 48 hours.
“The bigger problem for us is when we get it all at once. The reservoir system is really not capable of moving a large amount of water through the system quickly,” said Jones.
“We started moving water last weekend when we got the forecast that we were going to see some pretty significant rainfall from this front moving in,” explained Kim Crawford, a Duke Energy Spokesperson.
Crawford says rain in the upper Catawba was much higher than expected. About 6-8 inches.
Lake Norman was essentially filled upon Thursday despite being lowered to create storage space last week.
“They’re used for flood mitigation, but not strictly for flood control. So we can mitigate to a certain extent,” said Crawford.
People living along Riverside drive tell WCCB that flooding has become a way of life and for the most part, they’re still happy with where they live.