75 Princeville homes to be studied for possible elevation above future floodwaters

Published 2:30 pm Wednesday, July 17, 2019

PRINCEVILLE — Edgecombe County will receive more than $1.1 million in grant money to determine the feasibility of elevating 75 homes in the Town of Princeville that are at risk from repeated flooding. Funding is provided through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, with FEMA providing $843,750 and the state of North Carolina funding the remaining $281,250.

“Raising these homes safely above floodwaters will make them more resilient and safer for those that live in them,” said Steve McGugan, North Carolina Emergency Management’s assistant director for hazard mitigation.  “But before these homes can be elevated, we must make sure they are in good structural condition, or find resources to make the necessary repairs.”

This grant of $1.1 million is the first phase of a two-phase process to assist Princeville.  The first phase is an engineering and feasibility study to determine which homes can be safely elevated, since there is concern with the structural integrity of many of the homes.  The study will include cost-benefit analyses and budgeting for construction, as well elevation certifications for each home that can be elevated safely.

Once the study is complete, the results are sent to FEMA for review to ensure the home is eligible, technically feasible, cost effective, and compliant with environmental and historical preservation requirements.  Homes meeting all the criteria will then move into Phase Two and FEMA will make funds available for the construction/elevation of those homes.

The federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program uses a combination of federal and state funds to elevate, reconstruct or buy-out qualified homes at risk of repeated damage from flooding.  Following major disasters, a percentage of total federal recovery funds is designated to develop more resilient communities using one of the approved methods. So far, the Hurricane Matthew Hazard Mitigation Grant Program has awarded $88.1 million to perform this work on 683 residential properties in North Carolina.