The state and Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, will use $6.5 million to acquire more than 30 flood-prone properties in Pender County, officials announced Wednesday.
Located in Currie, Rocky Point, Hampstead and Burgaw, the 31 properties are susceptible to flooding from Moores, Beckys and Holly Shelter creeks, the Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear rivers and the Atlantic Ocean.
The state will use funds from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, made available after 2018’s Hurricane Florence, to acquire the properties. These properties will be converted to open space in order to conserve natural floodplain functions.
“The completion of FEMA’s review and approval of the program is good news for these property owners and the communities where they live,” said Steve McGugan, state hazard mitigation officer, in a statement. “The next step is for the state and local governments to move through the procurement of a contractor, which will take a couple of months to complete. Once there is a contractor in place, they will need to mobilize and set up their final project management timeline so property owners can be advised on the approximate date work will be completed on their property.”
FEMA’s share to acquire the properties is $4,913,358 and the state’s share is $1,637,786. FEMA reimburses 75% of eligible project costs and the remaining 25% is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state to disburse to local governments.
Funding from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is used by states to mitigate future hazards, which can include projects to help communities eliminate or reduce disaster-related damage.