AT LEAST 600 CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG DWELLINGS DAMAGED BY FAY’S FLOODING
Charlotte, North Carolina – On-site inspections after the flooding of August 26 and 27, 2008, show at least 600 single-family homes, apartment units and businesses in Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s floodplains were damaged. Preliminary figures show:
· at least 400 structures had floodwater in the living area, with depths up to 58 inches;
· at least 200 structures had floodwater in crawl spaces or basements.
This total only includes buildings in regulated floodplains. It is not known yet how many structures outside of identified floodplains sustained flood damage. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services continues to receive reports of structural flooding and is inspecting the damage. No official dollar estimate has yet been placed on the flood damage to structures, contents of homes and businesses, or to vehicles.
More than 90% of the damaged homes and apartments are in the Briar Creek Watershed. Damaged structures have also been inspected in the McMullen, Reedy, McAlpine, Little Sugar, McDowell and Long Creek watersheds. Storm Water crews are continuing to remove trees and other debris blocking the flow of water in numerous creeks around Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
A newly created rainfall map shows the County’s rainfall totals for Tropical Storm Fay. The map shows that in a 36-hour period, rainfall ranged from about 4 inches near the Union County line to more than 11 inches in the Mallard Creek/University City area. While the Briar Creek Watershed did not receive the most rain, it did receive some of the most intense rainfall. An official rain gauge at the Charlotte Fire Station at Eastway Drive and Shamrock received more than 2.2 inches in a one-hour period ending at 3 a.m. on August 27. That area is at the headwaters of Briar Creek. An official stream gauge on Briar Creek, just upstream from the Cavalier Apartments, shows the stream was seven feet over its banks at 7:30 a.m. on August 27.
More than 160 structures that repeatedly flooded in the past are not in the latest damage totals. Those buildings were purchased by Mecklenburg County and then torn down through the Floodplain Buyout Program. Storm Water Services officials estimate that most of those structures would have flooded last week if they were still standing. Begun in 2000, the ongoing floodplain acquisition program returns floodprone land to open space.