CH Town Hall Repairs Could Last Up To A Year

CHAPEL HILL- The first floor of Chapel Hill’s Town Hall flooded following the torrential rains that fell on June 30, soaking carpets, furniture, drywall and the council dias.

Now town officials say it may be six months to a year before the first floor is ready to reopen, and repairs could cost as much as $400,000.

Insurance may cover part of that, but the rest will likely be drawn either from the town’s reserve fund, or away from other capital improvement projects in next year’s budget.

While the first floor is undergoing renovation and repair, the town will shift revenue collection services to University Square on Franklin Street.

Council meetings may move to the Southern Human Services Center on Homestead Road, while advisory boards will meet at the library.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools board will meet at the Lincoln Center on South Merritt Mill Road.

The town is also working to repair 18 apartments at Airport Gardens, a public housing neighborhood off of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Repairs on those units are expected to be completed by the end of this month. Meanwhile, families living in those residences have been temporarily relocated to nearby hotels.

For more on town services affected by the flooding repairs, click here.

Camelot Village Clean-Up Continues

CHAPEL HILL – After severe flooding in early July, Camelot Village faced serious water damage, destroying many residents’ belongings and homes.

Clean-up has been a lengthy process. Camelot Village manager, Joel Duvall, says the three restoration companies hired have had to do a large amount of work.

“The three restoration companies are making good progress in drying out the units,” says Duvall. “They had to actually cut out the sheet rock, remove all the carpeting and lower cabinets. They are checking the electrical they’ve got underwater, so that’s a lot of work.”

Duvall says the Town of Chapel Hill lent support to the clean-up effort.

“The Town, as of last Tuesday or Wednesday, is providing some extra dumpsters for us to fill with personal property that the residents left behind,” says Duvall. “I am anticipating all that trash will be cleaned up in the next few days.”

Duvall says the insurance company has not yet approved all of the construction, so estimates on cost for clean-up are not determined.

He predicts that the floods did not impact the tax value of Camelot Village, but says he is unsure if the price at which these condos sell for will change.

“What they sell for, we’ll see,” says Duvall. “We’ve had another bad flood in the year 2000 and the values did not change much.”

Some residents with little water damage have already moved back into their homes. Duvall says about fifty residents who live in homes with a lower elevation may face months away from their homes before they can return.

“Some of them only had wet carpet in their living rooms and they never had to leave,” said Duvall. “Some of them will be probably two or three months out.”

For more information on Camelot Village, click here.

CH Officials Warn of Fraudsters, Mosquitoes & More Rain

CHAPEL HILL- The rain kept falling Wednesday morning, even as town and county officials came together to update the community on efforts to clean up and dry out in Chapel Hill.

Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt told the crowd that Sunday’s rains and flooding were unlike anything the town has experienced in the past.

“We experienced an historic rainfall here in Chapel Hill. Five to seven inches in a 24 hour period proved to be too much for our facilities,” said Kleinschmidt.

And there may be unexpected problems in the days to come.

Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue warned that fraudulent contractors may soon start going door-to-door, looking to profit from unwary flood victims.

“Those contractors are going to come knocking on doors sooner than any of us are ready for, I’m sure,” said Blue.

He urged residents to check with the Better Business Bureau and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce for a list of approved contractors who are familiar with local regulations.

Chapel Hill Fire Chief Dan Jones said the area will see an explosion of mosquitoes, which could pose a health threat.

“Think about children that are in play areas where there maybe standing water in grass, because the mosquito influx from this amount of water is going to be huge,” said Jones.

With more rain in the forecast, Chief Jones once again warned residents not to drive through flood water, as even just a few inches are enough to pose a danger to motorists. He said emergency officials had multiple calls to rescue people trapped in stalled vehicles during Sunday’s storm.

Orange County declared a state of emergency on Tuesday. Orange County EMS Director Jim Groves said damage assessment teams are taking stock, and there is the possibility that flood victims could receive state or federal aid.

Sunday’s flooding left more than 130 residences uninhabitable. About nineteen displaced people are staying in the temporary shelter set up at Smith Middle School, while many more are staying with family or friends. Groves urged the community to reach out with any available resources.

“If people have spaces available, we encourage them to contact the social services office,” said Groves. “Also if they have clothing that they want to donate or if they have money that they want to donate to these victims, they can write a check to our department of social services.”

Officials stressed that while the clean up efforts are progressing smoothly, full recovery from the flooding could be weeks, or even months away.

If you’d like to help, or if you need help recovering from Sunday’s floods, check out the resources listed below:

Orange County Department of Social Services

Triangle Red Cross

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce