Town of Nags Head awarded $2.9 million stormwater grant

Published 3:39 pm Friday, March 17, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Town of Nags Head has been awarded a considerable grant to aid with stormwater improvements.

On February 23, 2023, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced funding for 249 infrastructure projects in 80 communities to strengthen the state’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems. As part of this initiative, the Town of Nags Head will receive a $2,957,961 grant from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

“We’re grateful the state understands how important robust drainage infrastructure is to the health and economies of its communities,” said Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon. “Resiliency isn’t just a buzzword for us; it’s about ensuring our future. It means our community will withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from disruptions, such as flooding, without long-term damage to our economy or our environment. This generous grant will help us preserve the quality of life we enjoy here, in the face of current and future hazards.”

Get the latest headlines sent to you

According to a press release from the Town of Nags Head, it intends to install an innovative, nature-based solution to reduce the frequency, depth and duration of flooding along a mile of South Old Oregon Inlet Road, an area which is particularly vulnerable to flooding due to its low elevation.

“This area was identified as part of the town’s stormwater capital improvement program,” said town manager Andy Garman. “When soils are saturated and groundwater is high, from periods of wet weather or high surf, this area can have standing water for days at a time, making it unsafe. Over time, this has worsened, with increased development, higher intensity storms, and less separation from the groundwater table. Without some sort of intervention, the level of service on this vital roadway, and primary evacuation route, will be further impaired.”

The project’s goal is to mitigate frequent nuisance flooding and improve travel conditions on South Old Oregon Inlet Road following major rainfall events. Floodwater will be transported to locations where natural processes will function more reliably due to a better separation from elevated groundwater levels.

In addition to the stormwater funding announced by Cooper, the Town of Nags Head has also been awarded $244,000 for an Asset and Inventory Assessment grant, which will assist in the completion of a town-wide water system inventory and an update to the Water System Master Plan.

“The work completed through the AIA grant will result in a highly detailed, systemwide map, which will help the town manage our water system more efficiently and effectively, as population and usage continue to increase, and system components continue to deteriorate due to age and climate,” said Cahoon.