On October 8, 2016, Hurricane Matthew skirted the North Carolina coast and within 24 hours dumped nearly 12 inches of rainfall on the southeastern region. The entire downtown area of Lumberton was underwater due to flooding. The Lumber River rose to the never-before-seen level of 24 feet above normal. Flooding caused more than thirty road closures, including critical routes such as I-95, US 74, US 301, US 501 and NC 20. After the hurricane moved out, our construction engineering and inspection staff provided damage assessments for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Crews quickly ran into challenges as many roads were either washed out or still too dangerous to navigate.
In Robeson County, the overall transportation infrastructure was devastated and disaster recovery work quickly began. The sheer number of locations made it impossible for the in-house maintenance crews to handle on their own, so sites were split among local contractors. At any time, seven or eight different contractors were pursuing work county-wide. KCI’s construction manager coordinated the field staff to cover each operation for material and daily report documentation. The team developed project files and documentation to meet Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements.
With no formal schedule, the damage to local infrastructure was identified, repairs were prioritized, the work was scoped, and contracts prepared as developments occurred. KCI’s team was able to respond quickly and efficiently to assist in restoring the damaged areas. Over the following months, more than 270 sites were repaired.