Work to repair an ‘inactive’ dike could pick up this week after decades of neglect

Dike work set to begin

KELLY, N.C. (WECT) - A Wilmington-based engineering firm is scheduled to begin drilling work this week in the Kelly area in Bladen County in what would mark the first significant work to bring a dike back into working order and protect citizens in the area from potential flooding dangers.

In 2019, a WECT investigation revealed the White Oak dike in the Bladen and Pender county area has been considered in critical disrepair since at least 2001. The US Army Corps of Engineers lists the dike as inactive, meaning the project is not eligible for federal funding for repair.

The dike was breached in 2018 during record shattering rainfall from Hurricane Florence, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of residents in the Kelly area.

According to correspondence from Catlin Engineers and Scientists and the county manager for Bladen County, drilling work will start around May 22nd and will continue for three weeks in that area. The firm has conducted an aerial survey of the area and alerted as many property owners as possible of the work to come.

Commissioners in Bladen County are set to discuss the work at the regularly scheduled board of commissioners meeting Monday.

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