Pitt Co. disaster plan improved after lessons learned from Floyd flooding

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The last time a hurricane caused historic flooding in Greenville was Floyd back in September 1999.

Many are saying Hurricane Matthew could cause one of the worst floods the area has seen since the category 2 storm devastated the area nearly 20 years ago.

Brandon Little was only ten years old when Hurricane Floyd hit Pitt County. He was staying with his grandparents on Old River Road in Greenville at the time.

“I was looking over like, dang, those houses are flooded,” he recalled. Little remained in Pitt County to build a family. Now, he lives in elevated housing. “The plus was, when we came back here and saw the house on stilts, I was like, that’s even better, cause now we don’t have to worry about the flooding issue as much as we would on ground level.”

He can thank the Pitt County Planning Department. After Floyd, it implemented the hazardous mitigation plan to better serve the community during a disaster.

“We’ve got more resources, I believe, now available to us, more information, more staff, people available, that have been better prepared for these types of events because of that planning effort,” explained Pitt County Director of Planning James Rhodes. He said raised housing in Little’s area was one of the improvements. “What we do require when someone builds in those areas is to elevate to feet above base floods. So again, that’s added protection for those investments out in those areas.”

Little said he’s thankful for the efforts by Pitt County, “That’s the A1 sauce right there. As long as we know what’s going on, we can move on with life.”

And Little hopes his kids never go through what he went through.

“I got a four year old and two year old in the house,” he said. “I wanna make sure they’re good and a baby on the way, so all my kids gotta be good. That’s my main thing.”

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