County works on drainage issues

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By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Two years ago county officials sought grant funding to help address standing water issues in some Hoke County neighborhoods. It’s taken a while, but this month residents in the Goose Pond Road area of South Hoke saw dry land.

Andrew Jacobs, grant writer, shared information about the almost $500,000 grant funding and how it’s been used to improve drainage. The biggest job to tackle was work on a large water channel that has several smaller canals feeding into it.

“This is the biggest part of the project that we were able to do. We contracted with a group out of the mountains of North Carolina resource institute, and they leased us a couple of subcontractors. They were able to knock out about 3,600 feet of this canal from Wilson to Goose Pond Road this previous week,” Jacobs told commissioners last week. “I went out and visited the site and I’m absolutely amazed.”

The drainage work cleared out the canal, allowing water to dry up. Before and after photos showed the dry ground compared to the water that was backing up into people’s yards.

Jacobs showed examples of how bad the flooding had been in 2018 after Hurricane Florence, compared to this month after the work got started. There was still some work to be done removing tons of sediment, too, he said.

“All 3,600 feet have had the root balls and the stumps removed from the channel way, and we are awaiting the sediment to be removed from that. We’re looking at about 20 to 25 dump trucks of sediment, at 12 tons per dump truck, to be removed from that,” Jacobs said.

The work should help improve conditions for the future for people who live in the Goose Pond Road section. At one time, Jacobs said, he saw standing water there that appeared to be as deep as 10 or 12 feet.

Getting the work done “is going to be an absolute win for the citizens of that area and other places along that area that had canals that fed into this larger canal,” Jacobs said.

The grant provided enough funding to tackle about 10 drainage cleanup sites all together, he said. The work includes sites in Rockfish, Little Raft Swamp and the North Old Wire Road area.

“We hope to be finishing up sometime in January. It’s a huge success, a great win for Hoke County and our residents,” Jacobs said.

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