Ken Larsen's web site - Stormwater/Flooding issues in Chapel Hill


I live in the Briarcliff section of Chapel Hill.  I'm fortunate in that I live atop a hill, but some houses are located in low lying areas adjacent to a creek.  Their yards flood periodically.  [details]  [Hurricane Florence flooding, September 2018]


Developers continually submit development proposals to the Town.  Those which lie near creeks present a threat to downstream low lying areas.  A recent one is the Ram/Days Inn proposal.  [detailsIt directly impacts my neighborhood.


What can be done to mitigate the threat of flooding?  Here are some answers:

  1. Flood control advice - Jeff Prather to Chapel Hill Town Council (April 24, 2014)

  2. UK News story:  Climate change is NOT main cause of floods, say experts: Building on plains and cutting down trees are among the true reasons

  3. Per the UK story, I advocate that we not permit developers to cut down trees or build impervious surface on any 100 year or 500 year flood zones (blue, yellow, and striped areas of a flood map [example]). 

  4. The current strategy is to build stormwater retention ponds on new developments.  That's a good idea as those will slow down the release of water.  However, it's imperative that those retention ponds be periodically inspected and dredged as they then to silt in over time.

For more info, see Flood Risk Information System: 

Per a suggestion from retired environmental consultant Jeff Prather, it would be good to have a drone video taken of Booker and Bolin creeks ... to see where debris has piled up.  This should be done during the winter time when leaves are off the trees.  Flight Sight is a local company which offers drone video service. 


Such debris needs to be periodically cleaned up; otherwise flooding risk increases.


Ken Larsen's home page