Atlanta, July 7, 1999 -- Under terms of a $2 million agreement reached between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of North Carolina, eight commercial buildings subject to flooding by the French Broad River in Asheville will be purchased and demolished.
The structures are located on the east bank of the river and Riverside Drive between the River Link Bridge and just north of the Smokey Park Bridge.
The area has a repetitive history of flooding dating back to 1916. The voluntary acquisition of the buildings and seven lots will clear a 7.25 acre tract of land in the floodway. The project represents a vital link in Ashville's ambitious plan to clean up and revitalize the French Broad River, which has been nominated as an American Heritage River.
The city's goals for the project include floodplain management, public safety, increased recreational opportunities, wetland preservation, and further development of the greenway corridor.
FEMA Regional Director John Copenhaver said, "The city of Asheville has been active in efforts to clean up the river. Now it is becoming proactive in joining with our agency in trying to halt the cycle of disaster, destruction, economic loss, and rebuilding. This will be a very protective and productive use of these properties."
Total cost of the project is $2,338,994. FEMA has agreed to cover 75 percent of the cost from its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The state will fund the remainder.