SEPTEMBER 07, 2017 6:08 PM
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation, there are important questions to be asked about how North Carolina can better prepare for the growing number of natural disasters that are predicted to hit our state in the coming years.
In a recent report from Pew Charitable Trusts, flooding is now our state’s second most common natural hazard, occurring an average of every 7.6 days. Between 2000 and 2015, 17 federal disasters and emergencies were declared for floods, hurricanes, and severe storms in North Carolina, yielding $456 million in total assistance from the U.S. government.
It is now anticipated that floods and hurricanes could cost vulnerable North Carolina counties more than $1 million a year. It is also estimated that 356,000 people live in flood hazard areas and more than 7,000 properties have experienced repetitive losses from flooding. Additionally, there are 183 critical facilities such as hospitals and power plants that are in high-exposure areas.
During Hurricane Matthew last October, 26 people were killed and the state incurred more than $1.5 billion in damage. Though there was a tremendous outpouring of support for flood victims, including thousands of volunteers serving 1.6 million meals and delivering more than 200,000 goods and services, we need to shift from a reactive stance to proactive planning. [Cont.]
Read more on: The News & Observer [Article]