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Wetlands, pipe and fence to blame for Hubert neighborhood flooding

Wetlands, pipe and fence to blame for Hubert neighborhood flooding

HUBERT, ONSLOW COUNTY - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is investigating multiple reports of standing water following recent heavy rainfall in eastern North Carolina.

One of those flooded areas was in Hubert at Queens Creek Mobile Home Estates.

We learned the area hadn't been inspected for storm water drainage since 1998 until we contacted them about the problem.

Queens Creek Mobile Home Estates in Hubert has had its share of rain lately. Residents who contacted us say the standing water isn't just a nuisance, it also breeds mosquitoes and other insects.

We came and checkout the problem for ourselves and started making calls and after our calls, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources came to check out the flooding issues.

"There is a pipe here now whether its effective or large enough is debatable," said Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Engineer Dan Sams.

Sams says the storm water system here is designed to handle 7 inches of rain in a 24 hour period. On August 9th and 10th Hubert received heavy inches, causing widespread flooding in this neighborhood.

"You would expect some water backing up as a result of that. This pretty much worked the way it was supposed to," said Sams.

He says the fence a developer built here is also a factor. The fence was built just inches from the pipe and slows drainage even more.

"I think the fence is as much the problem as the pipe. The area underneath the fence is a whole lot smaller than the cross-section of that pipe so if I was going to start anywhere the fence would be where I would start," said Sams.

The underlying problem though, Sams says: This neighborhood is basically built on wetlands.

I asked Sams why the developer, Vance Properties, would build houses near wetlands. He says developers will build as close to wetlands as possible if land is available.

"People will do with the land what they can legally do with it and if they can build on it we're going to build on it," said Sams.

Sams says resizing the pipe and finding a solution to the fence blocking drainage will have to be sorted out between the property owners on both sides.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will continue to inspect the general area, if another 10 year rain event happens the department will be back at the neighborhood.

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