Wildlands’ Falling Creek Mitigation Site withstands 30” rainfall event during Hurricane Florence
Wildlands completed construction on the Falling Creek and Grantham Branch stream and wetland mitigation banks near Grantham, NC in March of 2018. In September of 2018, Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wilmington and slowly moved across the state shattering rainfall records throughout eastern NC. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported a rainfall total of 25 inches in nearby Mt. Olive, NC. Detailed records maintained by local hog farmers for their waste lagoons indicated that as much as 30 inches of rain fell on these two mitigation banks over a three-day period. These two banks restored, enhanced, and preserved over 35,000 feet of stream and 320 acres of wetlands. The hurricane only caused damage to two stream reaches, each under 500 feet. The damage was the result of streambank erosion from streams outside of the project that deposited within the project and filled these stream reaches. At the time of the damage, repairs were thought necessary but after a second assessment one month later, the streams appeared to be moving the sediment through the system and ‘self-repairing.’ Within three months, the damaged streams had returned to the as-built condition and no repairs were necessary. This project serves as further evidence that when streams are restored to natural dimensions and pattern storm events dissipate energy properly within the channels and on the floodplains and are resistant to damage. The below photos were taken in September 2018, after Hurricane Florence.