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Partnership Aims to Reduce Flooding in PKS

PINE KNOLL SHORES — The North Carolina Coastal Federation and officials in Pine Knoll Shores are set embark next year on a project to reduce flooding in town and protect water quality.

Pine Knoll Shores flooding from Hurricane Florence. File photo

Portions of the east end of town frequently flood after heavy rains. The high water table coupled with impervious roads and driveways reduce the amount of rain that can soak into the ground. Instead, the water ponds and causes localized flooding.

The project funded with a grant from the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund will include installation of an engineered system of pumps and drainage lines to lower the water table so stormwater can soak into the sandy soils below.

“Pine Knoll Shores is excited to work with the federation to move water off our streets in an efficient and environmentally sound way,” said Brian Kramer, the town manager. “This is really important to us.”

The project is designed to restore the soil’s infiltration capacity during average rainstorms by using the golf course ponds at the Country Club of the Crystal Coast in town to temporarily store runoff and then direct it to a sand filter where it can soak into the ground. By lowering the water table prior to predicted storms flooding will be reduced, according to the federation, rather than the current management approach of pumping floodwater to the sound.

“The project greatly improves resilience and environmental stewardship by increased infiltration of stormwater runoff during normal rain events and enhancing the ability of the Town to pump stormwater from flooding areas during tropical storm events to stormwater ponds or infiltration basins,” project engineer Larry Sneeden said in a statement.

“The goal of the project is to decrease instances of flooding, and in turn the need to pump water into Bogue Sound. This will reduce the amount of bacteria infected stormwater reaching the sound. We’re excited to be involved with a project that seeks to solve a problem facing many barrier island communities,” Bree Charron, coastal specialist for the federation, said in a statement. “The Town of Pine Knoll Shores has been extremely proactive in tackling stormwater issues that will benefit water quality.”

The project is intended to help in implementing the town’s watershed restoration plan that the N.C. Division of Water Resources approved earlier this year. The plan provides a roadmap for reducing the effects of stormwater runoff throughout the community.

The project team will be working on the final stormwater system design this winter and build the project in 2020.

Learn more

  • For more information on the federation’s work to improve water quality, visit nccoast.org/stormwater or contact Bree Charron at breet@nccoast.org or 252-393-8185.
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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.