Kinston awarded millions to help flooding mitigation

KINSTION, N.C. (WITN) – Eastern North Carolina has faced severe storms, leading to significant damage and distress.

“It honestly was so fast. This creek was flash flooding, and it happened in minutes,” said Carson Deaver, Kinston’s clinic pharmacy operations manager.

Despite not being a coastal town, Kinston has experienced flash flooding that caused considerable damage and posed serious risks.

“It affected a lot of the medical facilities on the other side of the Doctor’s Drive, and a lot of people in Lenoir County depend on those facilities,” said Henry McLean, the public services assistant director.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Mayor Don Hardy contacted state legislators for assistance.

“They actually did a study along the branch to look at areas where we could find ways to do mitigation on this,” said McLean.

Four years later, the city was awarded three million dollars from North Carolina Emergency Management.

“We were actually sloping back some of the Adkin Branch, so when floodwater comes in and it gets too much rain, it would have more retaining space,” said McLean.

Residents hope the flooding will soon be mitigated, sparing them from the hardship they endured years ago.

“The cleanup process was at least six months because it was completely gutted out, and they had trees falling. There were boxes of furniture out on the road. It was terrible,” said Deaver.

McLean noted that the city is now in phase two of the Adkins branch project. Once the specifications are finalized, construction contractors will be hired, with work expected to begin at the end of this year or early next year.

“This benefits the City by putting a flood model in place to help reduce flooding throughout the city. This project will mean so much to those who have lost homes and property during flash flooding due to storms,” said Mayor Don Hardy.

The total cost of the Adkin Branch flood mitigation project improvements is estimated at $16.6 million.