Posted in:

Emerald Isle to Create Stormwater Plan

A vehicle makes its way through floodwaters at Spinnaker’s Reach, off Coast Guard Road in Emerald Isle, after a thunderstorm in June. Photo: Brad Rich

Emerald Isle Commissioners Tuesday night authorized Town Manager Matt Zapp to negotiate a contract with engineering firm Moffatt & Nichol to develop a comprehensive stormwater management plan.

The 5-0 vote came during the board’s monthly meeting, conducted on GoToWebinar.

Moffatt & Nichol is a global infrastructure advisory firm with an office in Raleigh. It has long been Carteret County’s beach engineering firm, designing and monitoring multi-million-dollar Bogue Banks beach nourishment projects for the county’s Shore Protection Office. The company also subcontracts to Geodynamics, a Newport firm, for the county’s beach sand measurement program.

Zapp recommended Moffat & Nichol to town commissioners after reading proposals from the company and six others that responded to the town’s request for proposals to develop a stormwater plan.

The others that submitted proposals were The Wooten Company; McGill, Morris, Ritchie and Associates; American Engineering; LDS; and McConnell & Associates.

Zapp told the board he got input from Carteret County officials before recommending Moffatt & Nichol, and said he is confident the company has the resources and expertise to develop a good stormwater plan for the town.

Commissioner Jim Normile, who serves on the county beach commission, said he concurred with Zapp’s recommendation and thanked the town manager for his “thoroughness” in the review of the proposals and his recommendation.

Normile made the motion to allow Zapp to negotiate the contract. The manager hopes the board can approve a contract at its 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8,meeting.

The town’s request for proposals stated, “Recent flooding events have highlighted the need to address stormwater drainage issues on a comprehensive town-wide basis.”

According to the request for proposal, or RFP, the company that does the plan is expected to evaluate existing stormwater runoff conditions, existing system capacity and identify areas with frequent flooding; evaluate existing capacity of stormwater infrastructure, pumping stations and identify additional capacity needs; identify capital stormwater improvements to reduce flooding risk, reduce damage to public and private property and improve access and safety; quantify the capital and ongoing maintenance costs for implementing the stormwater infrastructure projects; identify permitting pathways to implement stormwater system improvements; and prioritize stormwater system improvements.

Although the town already has an extensive stormwater drainage system for the flood-prone Coast Guard Road corridor, and there are private systems in some developments, town Planning Director Josh Edmondson told the board earlier this year too much flooding occurs even after thunderstorms, not just tropical storms and hurricanes.

Without a plan and some tougher, but fair, stormwater rules, the town, he said, would likely see more flooding from smaller storms in the future, as redevelopment replaces smaller old homes with larger new ones, impervious surface area increases and remaining vacant and more marginal properties are developed.

This story is provided courtesy of the Carteret County News-Times, a tri-weekly newspaper published in Morehead City. Coastal Review Online partners with the News-Times to provide our readers with news of the North Carolina coast.

About the Author

Brad Rich

Brad Rich is a reporter for the Carteret County News-Times in Morehead City. He has written about fishery and environmental issues along the central North Carolina coast for 35 years. He lives in Hubert with his wife, Gwen.