Packed bus checks out areas prone to major flooding in New Bern

Stormwater pipe collapse (City of New Bern photo)

NEW BERN, Craven County - When it rains, it pours. Many areas through New Bern know that all too well with major flooding arises.

Members of the general public and numerous city officials got a tour Tuesday of various neighborhoods and other areas throughout New Bern that face major flooding. "It needs a lot of attention." Johnnie Kinsey, alderman for Ward 4, said. "It's a very expensive problem and that's something we are correcting now and something that has been approved for the budget this year." City officials say they have set aside $1.5 million to try to address the problem areas for not only storms but for routine rain showers. "1.5 million dollars we are fixing to spend will help a lot, but we need probably another $4 million in improvements," Mayor Dana Outlaw said. Alderman Jeffrey Odham said some of the areas in New Bern suffer from more severe flooding issues than others. So he says it's crucial to see what the other districts are dealing with so the board can come together as a unit to help those heavily impacted. "We were able to tour parts of the city that some don't see on a frequent basis, so I think it was important for us to get our boots on the ground and see what's going on throughout the city," Odham said.