FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 8, 2011
Sharon Foote – Storm Water Services, 980-721-8259 or sharon.foote@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
Jennifer Frost – Storm Water Services, 704-507-6565 or email@example.com
Kate Meier – American Red Cross, 980-721-8806 or MeierK@usa.redcross.org
Capt. Rob Brisley – Charlotte Fire Department, 704-995-3263 or firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 70 buildings were damaged in Friday’s flooding, the worst in Charlotte-Mecklenburg in nearly three years. The flooding affected more than 100 homes, sometimes damaging air conditioners or other outside structures but not the house itself.
Preliminary reports by the Charlotte Fire Department, the American Red Cross, and Storm Water Services show:
- The heaviest rainfall was at Brookshire Boulevard and Beatties Ford Road where 6.83” of rain fell in about four hours on Friday. See the Charlotte-Mecklenburg rainfall map (PDF)
- The worst flooding was in the Irwin and Stewart watersheds, northwest and west of uptown
At one point, Stewart Creek was five feet over its banks at State Street near Johnson C. Smith University
- 86 emergency responses to assist people in flooded vehicles and flooded buildings
- More than 150 requests for Storm Water Services to investigate drainage problems
- Floodwater entered more than 68 structures. About one-third of those buildings had floodwater in the basement or crawl space. An additional 42 structures had floodwater in the living space.
Water in the living space was up to 50 inches deep.
- 19 families helped at the Red Cross’ emergency shelter at Northwest School of the Arts
- Two deaths in rain-swollen Irvins Creek, a tributary of McAlpine Creek in southeast Charlotte
“Friday’s flooding took a lot of people by surprise. Dozens of lives were saved due to successful evacuation and rescue efforts,” said Capt. Rob Brisley of the Charlotte Fire Department. “However, many people did suffer losses. Our community is pulling together to help those who suffered in the flooding.”
This week, Storm Water Services continues to assess flood damage and look for long-term options for owners of flooded buildings. No dollar estimate is available yet for flood damage to structures, contents of homes and businesses or to vehicles. The Red Cross continues to help those affected by the floods and accept contributions from the public to fund disaster assistance.
“The numbers of properties affected by flooding could have been much worse if it weren’t for our Floodplain Buyout Program,” noted Dave Canaan of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services. “More than 100 high-risk properties that flooded on Friday used to have buildings on them but now are vacant lots.” Canaan says Storm Water Services’ Floodplain Buyout program has bought and torn down more than 230 flood-prone properties in the past 11 years. The land is returned to open space which is not damaged when it floods.