Sunday, April 12, 2009

Floodplain returns to green space

In August 2008, the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay dumped rain on Charlotte, sending upper Briar Creek out of its banks and into the 100-year flood zones.
Before that flood, Mecklenburg County had been buying out some homes in flood plains, but some residents remained in danger areas.

This time, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners approved using $4 million in county stormwater reserve funds and up to $2 million of county park and recreation bonds to buy properties in flood zones. County residents pay a fee in their water bill to fund the stormwater program.

Two homes on Harbinger Court in Merry Oaks were bought out and torn down through the program, creating more open space quite near the neighborhood's existing greenway along Briar Creek. For homeowners, the process wasn't easy, giving up their homes filled with memories. But in the long run, the process showed a system that worked, in this case.

The pictures tell the story:

3007 Harbinger Court on Aug. 27, 2008

3000 Harbinger Court on Aug. 27, 2008

March 18, 3007 Harbinger Court

March 18, 3000 Harbinger Court

March 21, 3007 Harbinger Court

March 21, 3007 Harbinger Court

March 29, 3007 Harbinger Court

Demolition sign on Harbinger Court

Storm drain pipe over Briar Creek at the end of Harbinger Court.

Not all the homes affected by the flood have been bought out. Several homes along Masonic Drive on the other side of the Briar Creek greenway were affected. One property owner is raising the level of the house:

Further links:
County stormwater services
FEMA flood plain maps

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