Commentary

Editorial: Act now, not later, to prepare for future hurricanes

Be sure to check out this morning’s editorial on WRAL.com — “To ease future storm disruptions, now in Flo’s aftermath is time to plan and act.” As the editorial rightfully points out with respect to the response to Hurricane Florence: “…there is no better time to start logging lessons learned, determining the major needs to be addressed and what kinds of resources are required to both mend what is broken and make changes that will help lessen problems in the future.”

Here’s the fine conclusion:

“The unfortunate reality is that current leadership in the state legislature has been reluctant, too often outright resistant, to addressing long-term preventative policies that would discourage building in flood-prone areas or prevent development that would exacerbate flooding conditions.

Gov. Roy Cooper needs to act now – not in the midst of an emergency — to bring together the people and resources on the local, state and federal level — to develop comprehensive solutions to common problems that have emerged during hurricanes Matthew and Florence.

Areas of focus should include:

  • How best to help those people and resources displaced by a natural disaster.
  • What needs to be done to be sure critical infrastructure and transportation arteries, such as interstate highways and railways, aren’t susceptible to flooding. There is little excuse that critical routes, such as Interstate 40 between Raleigh and Wilmington, face prolonged closure in a natural disaster.
  • Comprehensive review and updating of stormwater and dam-safety rules and regulations that put a priority on the protection of residents, businesses and the environment.
  • Updating regulations for the storage and disposal of animal waste, particularly from industrial-size hog and poultry production operations, so they are not vulnerable to overflow and spills.

Florence won’t be the last hurricane North Carolina faces. But there are realistic steps that can be taken to mitigate, if not avoid, several of the challenges faced in previous storms.”

Click here to read the entire editorial and here to read this morning’s Weekly Briefing which argues that we need a new and comprehensive societal commitment to respond to future storms and the climate change that will help fuel them.

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