By David Salvesen and Christian Kamrath
Christian Kamrath is a graduate student in the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning.
Hurricane Matthew, which struck North Carolina in October 2016, reminded us of just how vulnerable North Carolina is to flooding. Torrential rains caused severe flooding that breached levees, closed major roads and inundated entire communities. Thousands of homes in the eastern part of the state were destroyed.
Many of these same homes had flooded before, for example during Hurricanes Fran and Floyd in the late 1990s. To reduce the risks of future flooding, communities across the state have been acquiring and removing the most vulnerable homes from the floodplain. These acquisitions, known as buyouts, are funded primarily by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Since the 1990s, FEMA has funded the acquisition of over 20,000 homes, including some 5,000 homes in North Carolina.
Read the full blog post on Environmental Spotlight.