Flood Insurance Study; OWASA Blood Drive; Non-Profit Funding

CHAPEL HILL - A new Orange County Flood Insurance Study will be held in meeting room A at the Chapel Hill Public Library from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on December 18.

Residents and businesses are invited to review the flood hazard and flood risk data.  Beginning at 4:00 p.m., data will be presented on computers and layered over the County’s parcel.  At 5:00 p.m. a brief presentation will be given by the NC Floodplain Risk Mapping Program and from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. the public may ask questions.

For more information click here.

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On December 27, OWASA will hold an American Red Cross Blood Drive from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00p.m. and needs your support.

The blood drive will be in the community room on the lower floor of OWASA’s AdministrationBuilding.  People who come out to donate will receive a free Red Cross long sleeve shirt.

Appointments are recommended to move through quickly, but walk-ins are welcome after noon.

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The Human Services Advisory Board is accepting applications from outside agencies and non-profits for funding during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Forms are available online for non-profits human service agencies serving Chapel Hill.  All applications should be electronically submitted or delivered to Chapel Hill Human Services Coordinator Jackie Thompson by 5:00 p.m. January 24.

For more information call Jackie Thomson at 919-968-2760.

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/flood-insurance-study-owasa-blood-drive-non-profit-funding/

Local Businesses Rebuild After Flooding

CHAPEL HILL – More than a month after flooding hit our local area, some businesses are still working to make repairs and get back their original state.

Kristen Smith, vice president for advocacy and engagement at the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, says that in the wake of the flood, local businesses worked to support one another.

“Businesses really stepped up, as far as helping their fellow business folks,” Smith says. “People like Peter DeLeon at the University Mall opened up space so that there could be an assistance center for businesses or individuals. Different businesses made cash contributions and in-kind contributions to be a part of the relief effort.”

Smith says that even businesses who may not have had a lot of resources managed to contribute something.

“Businesses stepped up with contributions of space, boxes, storage pods,” Smith says.

Since the June flood, Smith says the Chamber of Commerce has been going to different businesses in the area to try and provide the services needed.

“We’ve been trying to monitor the needs of businesses, particularly since Governor McCrory declared a state of emergency in our county and that makes businesses eligible for loan funding and other grants,” Smith says.

Smith is referring to the low-interest rate loans provided by the Small Business Administration during the state of emergency.

“Some businesses are just discovering damage, and so we want to make sure that even though the assistance center at University Mall is closed, people can still apply for assistance,” Smith says.

The SBA can be reached at 1.800.659.2955.

http://chapelboro.com/news/business/local-businesses-rebuild-after-flooding/

Chapel Hill Flood Recovery Still Underway

Estes @ University Mall

CHAPEL HILL – In the aftermath of the damage caused by the torrential rain and floods in the past two months, Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt says your town still has a lot of work to do.

“We have several weeks, if not months, for full recovery.  In fact, there are some things that are going to take even longer.  We have folks who are still struggling with damage to their homes—people who are displaced and may be displaced for quite a long time, as some of the places they’ve been displaced from get repaired and renovated,” Kleinschmidt says.

For those residents who have been forced out of their homes, especially in affordable housing units like Camelot Village, Mayor Kleinschmidt says many are simply taking refuge with friends and family or temporarily vacant homes.

“In our public housing area along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Airport Gardens, we’re still doing work there to replace dry wall and to help people get settled back in, but it’s not ready for normal living yet, that’s for sure,” Kleinschmidt explains.

Among active efforts to ensure as speedy and effective a recovery as possible, the Mayor has also extended the waiver portion of the Town’s emergency proclamation an extra 30 days, which was originally supposed to expire this Thursday.

Mayor Kleinschmidt says he issued the extension to ensure that those who still need assistance with debris removal and other damage repairs can do so without the generally required fees.

The proclamation expires September 5, unless another proclamation withdraws it or modifies it.

Above all, Mayor Kleinschmidt says he wants you to know that this is a community effort and there are things you can do to help those in need.

“I wanted to make sure that we were as helpful as we can be to folks who are working hard to get their lives back to normal.  We’ll still keep those fees waived and assist people as best we can,” he says.

The proclamation will expire September 5, unless another proclamation withdraws it or modifies it.

Above all, mayor Kleinschmidt wants you to know that this is a community effort and there are things you can do to help those in need.

“I’d like folks to know that there are still people out there that need the assistance in their community.  There are things that the Town government can do, there are things that churches and neighborhoods are doing to help each other, but there’s still a role for people out there who are concerned about the health and welfare of families who have been displaced,” he says.

He encourages you to help others if you can by contacting Orange County Human Services.

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/chapel-hill-flood-recovery-still-underway/

Congressman Price Tours Flooded Chapel Hill

Congressman David Price joined by Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt (L) Town Manager Roger Stancil (CR) and Emergency Management Coordinator Robert Bosworth (R).

CHAPEL HILL - U.S. Congressman David Price toured flood-damaged properties to show his support of Chapel Hill on Monday.

Congressman Price was joined by Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, Town Manager Roger Stancil, and Emergency Management Coordinator Robert Bosworth.

Congressman Price is a Chapel Hill resident and serves the oddly-shaped 4th Congressional District which covers Chapel Hill, Pittsboro, Raleigh, Burlington, and portions of Durham, Cary, and Fayetteville, among others.

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/congressman-price-tours-flooded-chapel-hill/

Officials Push For Loans In Flood Review

CHAPEL HILL – With the Small Business Administration and other state and county agencies conducting their review of flood damage in the area, local officials are offering updates on the community after the flood.

Emergency management coordinator for Orange County, Darshan Patal, says the majority of the flood damage appears to have affected Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and the efforts of emergency workers are beginning to transition.

“This has really now transitioned to a recovery effort where DFF, housing and a couple of other county agencies are working to make sure short-term and long-term housing options are taken care of,” Patal says.

Chapel Hill town manager, Roger Stancil, says the flood damage to Town Hall will take about four months to fix.

“We’ve got to totally start over again,” Stancil says. “We need to think about the space and we need to move some of our technology to a different location and then redo the space.”

In its review, the SBA pushed for a disaster declaration for Orange County. According to Patal, that declaration would allow residents and small business owners to receive low-interest loans to help rebuild.

“The governor has since signed that declaration and sent it to the SBA for final approval,” Patel says. “As soon as we get the final approval, we will get the SBA into our assistance center at University Mall to allow individuals to come in, consult with them, do applications and everything they need to do to get the assistance they need from the SBA.”

While Stancil says there is no estimate for how much the clean-up to the town will cost, he says there are a few ways that Chapel Hill can find enough money in its budget to pay for the clean-up.

“One of the reasons that the town has a fund balance is it’s our savings account for natural disasters,” Stancil says. “That’s why we keep it at a healthy level so we can recover from such disasters.”

Stancil says that Chapel Hill is keeping records of the damages in the event that it can get reimbursements from state or federal agencies. He says this also extends to the potential lack of money the town is getting since waving fees for certain types of clean-up and construction on property.

“Depending again on the level of declarations from the state and federal government, there may be some potential for getting those fee waivers reimbursed to the town,” Stancil says.

An estimated 141 residents were displaced by the June 30 flood, and Orange County and municipal officials continue to monitor river levels as more rains and storms are expected.

http://chapelboro.com/news/weather/after-flood-review-sba-and-governor-push-for-disaster-declaration/

Chapel Hill Still Cleaning Up From (First) Flood

Photo by Ernie Rogers (CHTC parking lot).

CHAPEL HILL – Town Manager Roger Stancil is asking town staff to move swiftly in the review process and waive fees for permits related to flood reconstruction.

“The assessment, clean up, and disposal will all take time, so patience is needed,” Stancil said in a release.

The Town is also waiving fees associated to some waste collection. Household bulky waste pickup is free to residents with flood damage. Residents with flood debris are asked to call Public Works at 919-969-5100 to arrange a special collection or to inquire as to whether or not your items can be picked up. Crews will not pick up construction or demolition wastes.

The conclusion of Tuesday’s joint assessment of the most affected areas of OrangeCounty to determine whether it will receive disaster loan assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) has not been announced. Representatives from the SBA, North Carolina Emergency Management, and Orange County Emergency Services conducted the review. The USSBA Disaster Loan Declaration is requested if enough uninsured or underinsured loss to homes and or businesses occurred, which will offer low-interest loans to qualified applicants.

Some areas of the town are still recovering from flood damage. The first floor of Town Hall is being cleaned after several inches of water damaged the facility’s lower level. Taxes and other bills are being collected on the second floor. Business Management and Information Technology staff members have also been relocated.

A portion of Meadowbook Drive is still closed after an assessment of the road deemed it unsafe for vehicles. Repairs are currently underway.

Other Affected Areas

  • Town Hall at 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. – The first floor of the building was flooded with several inches of water. The clean-up and repair is underway. Residents may pay taxes and other bills on the second floor of Town Hall at the Revenue Collector. Business Management and Information Technology staff members have been relocated.
  • Airport Gardens public housing neighborhood on South Roberson Street: Clean-up and repair of 18 apartments is underway.
  • Umstead Park: Rather than restore the existing playground, crews will install a new play structure in the park away from the creek. Work on Umstead Park is scheduled to begin this week with removal of the existing structure and barrier fencing.
  • Greenways: The Bolin Creek Greenway was heavily impacted by the flooding. The Morgan Creek and Booker Creek greenways received some minor impacts, but these have been addressed. The Bolin Creek Greenway remains open, but greenway users need to be aware that while temporary measures have been implemented to maintain the trail surface, additional construction will be occurring over the next six months to repair damage. This work will necessitate the closing of sections of the trail. Crews will also be working in close proximity to the trail to clean up storm debris and remove damaged trees which may cause short term closing of trail areas.
  • Sykes Street Playground: The Sykes Playground is closed until a new retaining wall can be installed and the playground fall surface replaced. Chapel Hill Housing Department is responsible for this playground with assistance from the Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Meadowbrook Drive: Closed, pending repair.
  • Swimming Pools: None of the Town’s swimming pools were affected by the flooding. While we did receive the torrential rain at AD Clarke Pool, the pool filtration equipment is engineered to handle the overflow and keep the pool water within acceptable sanitary standards.  
http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/chapel-hill-still-cleaning-up-from-first-flood/

NWS: “The Heavy Rain Will Come In Fits And Starts”

RALEIGH – The National Weather Service in Raleigh issued a flash flood watch for central North Carolina, including Alamance, Chatham, Durham, and Orange counties until Thursday evening.

National Weather Service Science Operations Officer, Jonathan Blaes says there’s no way of knowing exactly when or where the rains may hit.

“The heavy rain will come in fits and starts,” Blaes says. “It will be, not widespread or to the affect where it’s raining all the time, but when we do get any showers or thunderstorms, they will be capable of producing extremely heavy rain. They’ll be slow-moving, so there’s a potential that when it rains hard, it could be raining very hard over any given location.”

And Blaes says there’s not just one cell that the Weather Service is monitoring.

“There’s not an obvious line or feature that’s easy to describe, but there will likely be multiple rounds of these kind of clusters of thunderstorms moving across central North Carolina during the next 12-24 hours,” Blaes says. “So, just because you have one go through doesn’t mean there won’t be any more later in the day or overnight.”

To see an up-to-date forecast, click here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/weather/nws-the-heavy-rain-will-come-in-fits-and-starts/

DMV Cautions Buyers On Flood-Damaged Cars

RALEIGH – After last week’s flood, the Division of Motor Vehicle’s License and Theft Bureau issued a reminder to watch out for flood-salvaged cars when buying a new ride.

Steve Watkins from the DMV’s License and Theft Bureau says that, especially with the current weather, consumers need to be vigilant about water damage.

“We’re in hurricane season and they’re expecting some storms this fall,” Watkins says. “You have to definitely think about vehicles, whether they’re on a car dealership’s lot or parked out on the street in front of an individual owner’s house, that that vehicle can be submerged or partially submerged underwater.”

Watkins cautions that just looking at a car’s title, which contains information about a car, and looking to see if it has a flood or salvage brand or note is not enough.

“We do have concerns, and it’s not a very common thing, but you do have people out there who will remove a brand from a title,” Watkins says. “If it’s a flood vehicle and they want to sell that vehicle for more, they can take a lot of different tools and remove that brand and it will sell just like a normal vehicle.”

Instead, Watkins advises that consumers not only take cars for extensive test drives, but also make a number of inspections for flood damage.

“Make sure you raise the hood. A lot of times, if it’s been sitting in water, there will be a water mark on the engine if it’s been submerged,” Watkins says.

Other signs of water damage can be worn or rusted screws and bolts, faulty lights and electronics and flood residue inside the car.

“Open up the door, look inside the door, see if there’s any mud or dirt,” Watkins says. “Look around the floorboards, because a lot of that trash can collect there.”

If consumers are unsure about a car and suspect flood damage, they are encouraged to contact the License and Theft Bureau, which has experts who can assess a car’s condition.

http://chapelboro.com/news/weather/dmv-cautions-buyers-on-flood-damaged-cars/

Flash Flood Watch Until Friday 6:00 a.m. – Alamance, Chatham, Durham, Orange

… FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RALEIGH HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR A PORTION OF CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA… INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS… ALAMANCE… ANSON… CHATHAM… CUMBERLAND… DAVIDSON… DURHAM… EDGECOMBE… FORSYTH… FRANKLIN… GRANVILLE… GUILFORD… HALIFAX… HARNETT… HOKE… JOHNSTON… LEE… MONTGOMERY… MOORE… NASH… ORANGE… PERSON… RANDOLPH… RICHMOND… SAMPSON… SCOTLAND… STANLY… VANCE… WAKE… WARREN… WAYNE AND WILSON.

* THROUGH LATE TONIGHT

***Listen to an Update from NWS’s Jonathan Blaes***

* SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING HEAVY DOWNPOURS WILL BECOME MORE WIDESPREAD TODAY AND TONIGHT DUE TO DEEP MOISTURE OVER THE AREA AHEAD OF AN APPROACHING COLD FRONT. HEAVY DOWNPOURS PRODUCING ONE TO TWO INCHES OF RAIN IN AN HOUR WOULD CAUSE FLOODING IN URBAN AREAS.

* THE SOIL IS SATURATED AND STREAMS AND RIVERS ARE RUNNING HIGH DUE TO RAINFALL OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS. ADDITIONAL HEAVY RAIN WILL RUN OFF QUICKLY… POTENTIALLY PRODUCING DANGEROUS FLASH FLOODING… ESPECIALLY IN URBAN AREAS… ON SMALLER STREAMS… AND IN LOW LYING AREAS. DRIVERS SHOULD BE ALERT FOR HEAVY RAIN… WHICH COULD CAUSE HYDROPLANING AS WELL AS REDUCE VISIBILITY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

http://chapelboro.com/news/weather/flash-flood-watch-until-friday-600-a-m-alamance-chatham-durham-orange/

Flood Assessments; Construction on W. Main; Local Chef in Competition

CHAPEL HILL - Beginning Thursday, night work is scheduled to begin on the W. Main St. roadway resurfacing.  The project is anticipated to be completed by or before August 13.

Motorists should expect delays and seek alternative routes along W. Main St. and connecting roadways.  Construction on W. Main St. from Jones Ferry Rd. to Hillsborough will take place both night and day.  Construction from Hillsborough Rd. to NC 54 will only take place during the day.

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Executive Chef at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant, James Clark, will compete in an “Iron-Chef” styled competition against Dean Thompson of Flights at The Renaissance (North Hills).  The competition will take place on July 15 at 1705 Prime located at 705 East Millbrook Road in Raleigh.  The competition uses a mixture of judges and votes from the audience to determine the winner.

Tickets for all first round battles are $59 per person.  To reserve tickets click here.  The winner of this single elimination contest will be announced on August 19.

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/flood-assessments-construction-on-w-main-local-chef-in-competition/