State Grant Helps Fund Mollies Branch Project

Two more flood damaged homes will be demolished after county commissioners approved a low bid Monday (file photo).
A drone view of Whiteville during last year's flooding. Officials expect a busier tropical season this year. (file photo).

Whiteville will receive $1.3 million in state funding for the Mollie’s Branch Drainage Project.

The funding was made public when N.C. Emergency Management (NCEM) announced the first round of grant recipients for the 2023 Disaster Relief and Mitigation Fund today, June 4.  City Manager Darren Currie briefed city council on the grant in May.

The DRMF was authorized by the 2023 Appropriations Act (S.L. 2023-134, § 5.6(f)), providing $30 million in funding availability to support the development of more resilient communities across North Carolina.

Whiteville’s share of the funds will be used to continue improvements on Mollies Branch. The branch catches most of the stormwater on the west side of Whiteville, carrying it to Soules Swamp and White Marsh. Improving the drainage along the branch will also mitigate some flooding problems on the west side, and improve drainage for the downtown area by moving stormwater out before it overwhelm the city’s stormwater network.

The project is designed to improve, restore and expand Mollie’s Branch

At a meeting with city council last month, Darren Currie called the Mollie’s Branch grant “the last piece of the puzzle” for that part of the city’s stormwater system.

The city has successfully obtained several grants for the project, as well as participating in a flood buyout program that will eventually replace a number of flood-prone homes and impermeable surfaces with greenspace.

The NCEM grant does not require a match by the city.

About Jefferson Weaver 2095 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].