Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources is providing more than $600,000 to fund debris removal from streams and drainage ways in portions of eastern North Carolina and in Transylvania County.
"We have worked diligently to help our farmers who were so severely affected by Hurricane Irene," Gov. Perdue said. "My administration is able to provide funding to help clean out these streams, so that potential flooding and drainage problems don't add additional harm to the farmers who have been through so much this year."
The grant money comes from water resource development project funds managed by the Division of Water Resources. The bulk of the funding -- $600,000 -- will be provided to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, who will sponsor clean-up and restoration efforts in the following eastern North Carolina counties impacted by Hurricane Irene and the spring tornadoes: Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Hertford, Hyde, Jones, Martin, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrell and Washington. This project will help restore the water management infrastructure in the affected counties and reduce flood damage from future rainfall events.
Additionally, NCDENR will provide $25,000 in financial assistance to aid in the removal of a logjam on the French Broad River near the Transylvania County Airport that is diverting the river's flow and causing severe streambank erosion. The Transylvania Soil and Water Conservation Board will match these funds to complete the restoration project.
The logjam occurred more than a year ago when river currents eroded soil around the bases of large hardwood trees next to the river, causing the trees to fall. Timber and other debris are now stacked 25 feet high and 75 feet wide across 150 feet of the river, creating a safety concern for boaters. The blockage has eroded more than 2,000 tons of soil, causing a loss of productive agricultural land, as well as harm to water quality and aquatic life with the resulting sediment.