Lumberton officials build earthen berm to prevent flooding


LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) The City of Lumberton’s Public Works Department, along with several other agencies, constructed an earthen berm at the Jacob Swamp Dike to prevent severe flooding.

The berm located directly behind West Lumberton Baptist Church was built days before Hurricane Dorian. It’s 12-foot-tall and spans nearly 200 yards.

“The fact that I-95 is raised up next to the river acts as a berm, so the only way the water was coming in was under the bridge. We thought that if we could stop that or slow it down, we would help the people in South Lumberton and West Lumberton,” said Lumberton Mayor Bruce Davis.

Crews used about 750 green Hesco containers for the berm. Mayor Davis said the city has decided to keep it up permanently for future storms.

During Hurricane Dorian, Lumberton got less than 4 inches of rain and Davis said the Lumber river only reached eight feet. The city is also working on other projects to combat flooding.

“With the hospital for example, we have major issues for emergency vehicles getting into hospitals because of flooding. We have a major project on the drawing board now to improve that drainage, and that’s going to be about a $7million project,” said Lumberton City Manager, Wayne Horne.

Making drain repairs won’t solve the problem completely, Horne added.

“What we’re looking at is the flood areas, the flood ways, the flood maps. We’re looking at those homes that could be impacted, and we’re encouraging those folks to apply for elevation or a buyout because there’s no permanent solution to their problem,” he said.

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