Low-lying NC town credits dike for minimal Matthew flooding

SWAN QUARTER, N.C. (AP) — Residents of a low-lying coastal North Carolina town say a long-term engineering project did a good job protecting their homes and nearby rich farmland from Hurricane Matthew last fall.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Virginia, reports (http://bit.ly/2ofpwGi ) the town of Swan Quarter and 11,000 acres of farmland was protected by nearly 18 miles of dikes that blocked the salty storm surge from nearby bays and Pamlico Sound.

The dike is mostly an earthen, grassy wall that’s 6 feet tall and up to 60 feet wide constructed over 25 years. A section of corrugated plastic composite material stands protects the town of Swan Quarter from its surrounding marshes.

The dike passed its first big test during Hurricane Irene in 2011. It also held up well against Hurricanes Sandy, Hermine and Matthew.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com