RALEIGH, N.C. -- Six Hyde County homes flooded during Hurricane Bonnie in 1998 will be purchased by the county at a cost of $341,074. This action is a cooperative effort between Hyde County, the State of North Carolina and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"This project will accomplish the goal of recovery from flooding using methods that preclude the chance of future damage to lives and property," said Gov. Jim Hunt. "At the same time, Hyde County will obtain valuable open space, an important asset as our state continues to grow."
Under this voluntary agreement, the homes that were substantially damaged during the flooding will be demolished and the land left permanently as open space. No future development of these sites will be allowed under the agreement.
The six properties have a long history of flooding and have been impacted by eight hurricanes since Hurricane Hazel in 1954.
FEMA will pay the majority of the cost -- $255,806 (75 percent) and the state of North Carolina will pick up the remaining 25 percent share of $ 85,268.
This buyout is made possible because of FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). Grants under this program go to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of the program is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.
Eric Tolbert, State Coordinating Officer, State of North Carolina, lauded the cooperation that made this buyout possible. "This effort will help reduce future losses from flooding in Hyde County. We are committed to helping communities recover and avoid this kind of devastation in the future. Everyone is a winner," he added.
The request from the North Carolina Emergency Management Division stressed the importance of the approval of this project because it will eliminate future structural and content damage and will also protect property within Hyde County. Approval of the project will also reduce future outlays from insurance claims and disaster assistance. Structures in the project area have suffered repeated damage and recent flood studies indicated a high potential for future flooding.
Hyde County is a participant in good standing in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) without which this buyout would not be possible. This buyout furthers the multi-jurisdictional goal of protecting property and saving lives by permanently removing people from the flood-prone areas.