WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – One Beaufort County family is celebrating a happy homecoming after having their home raised safely above the flood zone.
But emergency managers aren’t stopping there.
The Evans family has lived in their Beaufort County home for 13 years now. Their dream home along the Pamlico River is even more so now that they’ve risen above the flood.
“We’re tickled to death with it,” said Jerry Evans, whose home was elevated above flood level. “I mean, there’s no question that the house is a lot stronger. You don’t have to worry about things.”
They no longer have to worry about damage like what they experienced after Hurricane Irene.
“When a storm comes in, it was very nerve-wracking because you never know what you were gonna come back to, like with Irene, it was not good.”
For the Evans, Irene is now a distant memory thanks to a National Flood Insurance Program grant that raised their home 14 feet. As part of the program, homes with repetitive flood claims are raised above the 100-year flood level. For the Evans, the process took about 4 months. Beaufort County emergency management director John Pack hopes to help even more homeowners.
“We have already been told that FEMA has approved several of the grant proposals that we have submitted,” explained John Pack, Beaufort Co Emergency Manager. “One for eight more structures. Which we should get the contract for that at the end of this month, which means, hopefully, in three months, four months, we’ll start actually raising those houses.”
Beaufort County has raised over 200 homes with help from this program. It hopes to get At least six more raised this fall.
Evans said he hates having to climb up and down the stairs every day, but he says that little inconvenience is well worth the peace of mind.
Several other counties in the east are also participating in the program.
Emergency managers work to identify homes needing the raise and work with FEMA on getting grants.