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Post-Disaster Community Investments in Lumberton Through the North Carolina State Acquisition and Relocation Fund for Buyout Relocation Assistance

2020

Lumberton, North Carolina provides one example of how state funding for relocation assistance can help support local buyouts and community investments in underserved areas. In 2016, the small community of Lumberton was devastated by Hurricane Matthew when the Lumber River flooded over 870 households, as well as a number of businesses. As the city was beginning to recover, only two years later, Lumberton was hit a second time by Hurricane Florence, resulting in damage to over 500 structures. As of 2019, Lumberton is seeking to leverage several grants and funding programs, including North Carolina’s State Acquisition and Relocation Fund (SARF), to rebuild the community and provide residents with relocation assistance to obtain new homes in Lumberton through a state-local partnership. Specifically, with funding from SARF, the local government is considering opportunities to invest in new homes in one existing, but underserved neighborhood of Lumberton that can offer safer homes for bought-out residents. As SARF and the ongoing work in Lumberton demonstrate, state and local governments can support voluntary, post-disaster transitions of people and minimize negative impacts to individuals, communities, and local tax bases from buyouts by reinvesting in underserved areas within their municipalities. 

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Annexing and Preparing Higher Ground Receiving Areas in Princeville, North Carolina Through Post-Disaster Recovery Processes

In 2017, the Town of Princeville, North Carolina engaged experts and communities in a long-term, comprehensive planning process to annex a 53-acre parcel of land located outside of the town’s 100-year floodplain to develop a safer, higher ground area where residents, structures, and infrastructure can be relocated. After experiencing flooding impacts from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Princeville was selected as one of six municipalities in North Carolina to receive technical and funding support from the state through the Hurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative. Princeville provides an example for other municipalities either in a pre-or post-disaster context for how to balance the preservation of original townships while dealing with flooding vulnerabilities, while increasing the resiliency of core community assets and services through adaptation actions. As done in Princeville, local governments may consider options for relocating vulnerable residences and community facilities and services, including by annexing new land where sufficient higher ground land within existing municipal boundaries is not available to reallocate critical land uses and maintain local communities, tax bases, and economies.

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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, North Carolina: Floodplain Buyout Program

July 15, 2020

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services (CMSS) — a county-wide regional utility in North Carolina — has been administering a Floodplain Buyout Program to relocate vulnerable residents out of floodplains and reduce long-term flood damage. The buyout program is focused on risk reduction and flood mitigation best practices, where once bought out, properties are returned to open space uses to restore their natural beneficial flood retention and water quality improvement functions and provide other community amenities, like parks and trails. CMSS has purchased more than 400 flood-prone homes and businesses and enabled over 700 families and businesses to relocate to less vulnerable locations outside of the floodplain. CMSS has also supported a number of leaseback arrangements on a case-by-case basis with property owners to increase participation in the buyout program and reduce the county’s property maintenance costs. The program has been funded through a combination of federal and local government sources, with leasebacks also supporting the recapture of some costs. Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Floodplain Buyout Program is an example of a nationally recognized approach to supporting voluntary retreat in a riverine floodplain. Other local governments could consider adopting a comprehensive buyout program like Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s or individual program elements, like local funding options or leasebacks, to help support voluntary retreat decisions in coastal areas experiencing sea-level rise, impacts from disaster events, and land loss. This case study is one of 17 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas: Lessons and Tools from 17 Case Studies.

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Making Charlotte a Climate-Ready and Just City

August 2, 2017

From the Center for American Progress, this report presents an analysis on climate change adaptation and resiliency in Charlotte, North Carolina. The report describes how the city is advancing climate action, primarily in building resilient communities prepared for extreme-weather events. The Center also provides recommendations for Charlotte, which focus on engaging working-class communities and integrating social equity considerations into resiliency planning and preparedness. 

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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North Carolina Highway 12 Storm Recovery

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is implementing several different solutions to address frequent overwashes, erosion, and more severe damage to North Carolina Highway 12 (NC 12) following Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. These measures, intended to improve the future resilience of the highway, include bridge construction and temporary beach nourishment.

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Encroaching Tides: How Sea Level Rise and Tidal Flooding Threaten U.S. East and Gulf Coast Communities over the Next 30 Years

October 2014

This report from the Union of Concerned Scientists describes the threat of tidal flooding in the East Coast and Gulf regions and offers steps that communities can take to adapt. The report makes the case that tidal flooding, currently just considered a nuisance, could become a daily or weekly occurrence, redefining how and where people along the coast “live, work, play, and move through their daily lives. " Data was collected in 52 locations to provide projections for sea level rise and tidal flooding in the region until 2045.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Melanie Fitzpatrick, Kristina Dahl

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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How Countries, States, and Florida Address Sea Level Rise: A Compendium of Climate Adaptation Research

2013

The Compendium is a comprehensive list of national, state and local sea level rise adaptation planning resources assembled by Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). Each briefly summarized, there are 24 reports and plans described for the state of Florida, as well as adaptation plans for four cities and 18 reports regarding Florida at the county and regional level. Twelve states are reviewed with multiple resources for each described, including hazard mitigation plans, vulnerability assessments, response strategies and more.

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Protecting the Public Interest through the National Coastal Zone Management Program: How Coastal States and Territories Use No-Build Areas along Ocean and Great Lake Shorefronts

May 2012

This report provides an overview of policy options for limiting new construction in vulnerable coastal areas, and a summary of existing laws and regulations in states with federally approved coastal management programs (CMPs). To better understand and communicate how state CMPs manage ocean and Great Lake shorefront development, NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) (now a part of the Office for Coastal Management) conducted this study to look specifically at where states are employing shorefront strategies to protect the public interest and natural resources.

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Local Strategies for Addressing Climate Change, Vol. 2

June 2010

This resource is a collection of case studies that ran in the NOAA Coastal Services Center's (CSC) magazine 'Coastal Services. ' These stories document states' efforts to combat climate change and, in particular, sea-level rise. The solutions discussed are varied. On a national level, the CSC describes the work the EPA's Climate Ready Estuaries Program has done to help local estuary managers adapt to climate change. Meanwhile, ICLEI and the state of Oregon have developed new materials and programs that relate to communicating about issues related to coastal adaptation.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Analysis of Coastal Climate Adaptation Strategies for Southeast U.S. Coastal Cities

April 25, 2008

This Master’s project identifies primary and secondary climate change impacts to coastal areas of the Southeast U.S.  The author proposes three resiliency criteria and applies this decision-making framework as a means of evaluating potential adaptation response strategies for sea-level rise. These criteria include adequate adaptive capacity, environmental sustainability, and the win-win nature of the adaptive measures.

Author or Affiliated User: Ulla-Brott O. Reeves

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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