|As you are probably aware, Ocean Sands and Crown Point are in the midst of a significant flooding event as passing storms stalled over the Northern Outer Banks, dumping 13.4” of rain between Monday night and Wednesday afternoon. This event was totally unexpected as initial forecasts were for scattered showers starting Monday night. Many areas of the developments are under water. Given this event, it seemed to be a good opportunity to report our progress to you.
To deal with the immediate situation, the Stormwater Advisory Board has been surveying the neighborhoods to monitor the situation and has been in close contact with County officials. Rainfall measurements taken at the OSWSD Water Plant were recorded as follows:
Cumulative Total as of 2:30 p.m. on 9/21/2016 of 13.4”
Crown Point and much of Ocean Sands North has been seriously impacted. The lake has totally overtopped its banks as have the drainage ditches leading from the lake to the sewer plant, and the ground water lowering moats around the sewer plant are overwhelmed and overflowing into Crown Point. Over 19” of water was measured at the end of Oleander Street in Section O. Similarly, 18” was measured at Sea Loft in Section F, with most of Sea Oats Court and Surf Song Lane underwater. In Sections KLMNP, much of Driftwood and Mariner are underwater as well as a number of other streets in those sections. Crown Point has 18″ on Kings Grant and 14″ on the back side of Crown Point. (Unfortunately, Coastland has not followed through on its commitment to maintain the drainage ditches despite a $10K allocation in the budget). In any event, these are just a couple of examples as there are flooded streets and lots in most every section. Rt. 12 near Harris Teeter is also underwater in several places.
Eric Weatherly, the County Engineer, and Dan Scanlon, the County Manager, have worked hard this morning to secure the necessary emergency permits and equipment to begin pumping the storm water to the ocean. Three (3) pumps are being installed, and should be operational late today (Wednesday). The pumps will be located at Crown Point Road, Tide Arch and Sea Oats Court. See the end of this newsletter for the water quality notification from NC DENR.
With regard to the longer-term issue of putting in place a comprehensive stormwater mitigations system:
- As you recall, The Ocean Sands North and Crown Point Service District for Watershed Improvement was established by Currituck County in May 2016, effective July 1, 2016. The members of the Advisory Board were approved by the County Commissioners in June and the Advisory Board got to work immediately.
- The Advisory Board sent out a Request for Qualifications for Engineering consultants in early July to over 30 firms. Responses were received, and 3 firms were chosen for personal interviews, which were held on September 9, 2016.
- Albemarle & Associates, Ltd. of Kitty Hawk, NC was ranked #1 after the interviews. They impressed the Board with their creative ideas, commitment to solving the problems and extensive experience dealing with Outer Banks stormwater issues. They are in the process of developing a scope and fee proposal for their initial task, which will be to develop a comprehensive storm water management plan. Our goal is to have Albemarle under contract by November. The initial work is expected to take about 9 months to complete. Based on this initial work, full engineering design and construction will be phased-in over the next few years. We will also be asking them to be looking at some short-term solutions, or “quick hits”, that can hopefully provide some relief in the near term. However, our main focus is to develop a viable, comprehensive solution for the longer term. We would note that, even though Albemarle & Associates is not yet under contract, their engineers have been on site yesterday and today to observe first hand and document the conditions. Albemarle hopes to have a drone fly over the district tomorrow or the next day to document the flooding.
- A number of pictures have been be posted to the ‘Corolla Stormwater’ Facebook page and additional ones will continue to be posted. Albemarle & Associates has asked that, if any homeowners have photographs or other documentation of flooding on or around your property or section, please forward it to the Advisory Board marked with the date & location. This will help our consultants greatly in cataloging the key flooding locations to enable them to efficiently develop effective solutions.
This unexpected event only underscores the urgency of moving forward with a Comprehensive Stormwater Management Plan for Ocean Sands North and Crown Point.
We are making progress, and we request your continued patience. Unfortunately, this should have been done years ago, but it wasn’t. We will endeavor to work in an urgent, yet disciplined, manner to develop an actionable global solution at a reasonable cost. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Ocean Sands North & Crown Point Watershed Service District Advisory Board