Environment

Storms in Raleigh caused flooding in Kinston. This photo was taken April 25, 2017.
Associated Press

The mayor of Kinston wants the N.C. Legislature and U.S. Congress to help prevent future floods as the Neuse River crests from more heavy rain.

Liz Bell

Many communities in eastern North Carolina are still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The storm hit the East Coast last October, and in Edgecombe County hundreds of students were displaced after flooding nearly destroyed Princeville Elementary School. Now the Edgecombe County school board must decide on next steps for rebuilding the school.

An aerial photograph of a CAFO, or concentrated animal feeding operation, taken on Monday, October 10, 2016 shows the facility surrounded by water.
Rick Dove / Waterkeeper Alliance

The national nonprofit American Rivers has named the Neuse and Cape Fear rivers among the country's most endangered.

Marc Edwards has been named among the most influential people in the world by Time, Fortune, Politico, and Foreign Policy Magazine. Edwards is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, and he blew the whistle on the water crisis in Flint, Mich.

Capt. Dean VanderLey, commanding officer of Naval Facilities Engineering Command for the Mid-Atlantic region, standing in front of NOAA's Sewell's Point tidal gauge, which measures the sea level at Naval Station Norfolk, the world's largest naval base.
Jay Price / WUNC

When President Donald Trump visited a shipyard at Newport News, Va. this month, he told an audience of sailors and shipbuilders that the United States would defeat any danger and handle any threat.

But one of the biggest threats to the military is one that Trump didn't mention: sea level rise.  

Public Herald / Flickr Creative Commons

  The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline would span approximately 600 miles across three states. The pipeline is a joint project between Duke Energy, Dominion Energy, Piedmont Natural  Gas and Southern Company .


A photo of a black bear captured in Jones county through the North Carolina Candid Critter project.
North Carolina's Candid Critters / North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Wildlife scientists and managers are trying to capture photos of wildlife in every North Carolina county using motion sensing cameras. NC State University and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences are working with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission to compile a mammal survey.

Section of Mid-Currituck Bridge project map.
ncdot.gov/projects/midcurrituckbridge/download/ProjectMap.pdf / NCDOT

A group of residents and visitors is asking the new North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary to consider alternatives to building a proposed two-lane bridge between the Currituck mainland and the Outer Banks. The project has long been in the research and planning phase as a means to alleviate tourist traffic and offer another emergency evacuation route.

Duke Energy's coal-burning plant and the adjacent coal ash ponds by the Dan River.
Riverkeeper Foundation

A study from N.C. State University says researchers have not found increased levels of toxic elements in soil along the Dan River. It's been almost three years since a Duke Energy coal ash pond released slurry into the river.

New living reef on Pamlico Sound.
Courtesy of NCDOT

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has built a living reef about a mile west of the Bonner Bridge in Pamlico Sound.

Nags Head
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The town of Nags Head is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, for help to restore 1.4 million cubic meters of sand along its shoreline after Hurricane Matthew. 

Black Tip sharks feed on the coast near Cape Lookout.
Shark Attack News

Coastal Carolina officials may not be willing to prepare for climate change until it's too late, according to a new study out of N.C. State and Appalachian State Universities.

Smithfield Foods promised to cut emissions.
humanesociety.org

Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, has promised to slash its carbon emissions.

Great Dismal Swamp
By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region - Photo of the Week - Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (VA)Uploaded by AlbertHerring, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30924548

For more than a century before the Civil War, escaped slaves used the thick and shadowy brush of the Great Dismal Swamp as a hideout.

wildfire photo
Stuart Palley for Reveal

Wildfires continue to sweep through the Southeastern United States. More than 28,000 fires have burned approximately 1.5 million acres of land in the region so far this year, according to The National Interagency Fire Center.

Kayla Cantrell / North Carolina Forest Service

Forecasters say another round of rain will help to subdue the wildfires in western North Carolina, but they are also keeping an eye on possible mudslide conditions.

a sustainable carry-out box
Courtesy of Damian House

Sustainability advocates are raising money to create a reusable restaurant carry-out container system in Durham.

Oil drilliing
Wikipedia

The Obama administration has released a five-year energy plan that blocks oil drilling off the North Carolina coast and the rest of eastern seaboard, as well as new drilling in parts of the Arctic.

Near the Tennessee border, firefighters monitor a burnout operation along the Cheoah River
North Carolina Forest Service

North Carolina's wildfires have now burned 50,000 acres of forest land. More than 2,000 firefighters have been battling 15 fires for three weeks in the western part of the state. 

a map of a proposed natural gas pipeline
Courtesy of Dominion Power

Opponents of a proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline are planning protests in eastern North Carolina throughout the weekend.

Near the Tennessee border, firefighters monitor a burnout operation along the Cheoah River
North Carolina Forest Service

Authorities have ordered more evacuations near Lake Lure as a nearby wildfire continues to spread. 

The state Forest Service says more than 1,000 people have now been asked to leave their homes.  The fire is one of more than a dozen that have burned 47,000 acres in western North Carolina. 

A heavy air tanker drops fire retardant over the Boteler Fire in western North Carolina
Courtesy of North Carolina Forest Service

The state Department of Environmental Quality has again issued warnings of dangerous air quality in western North Carolina as a result of more than a dozen wildfires in the region. Four counties in the west were under a "code purple" air quality alert on Tuesday, the highest warning the state can give.

Dream Jobs: Becoming A World-Renowned Worm Expert

Nov 15, 2016
a handful of worms in a person's hand
Courtesy of Rhonda Sherman

This story is part of an occasional series called Dream Jobs profiling North Carolinians with jobs that may be unique, distinctive or even a little unusual.

Rhonda Sherman likes to say she became an internationally-renowned worm expert largely by accident.

Gov. Pat McCrory first visited the fire near Lake Lure on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016
North Carolina Forest Service

Firefighters are entering a third week of battling more than a dozen wildfires in western North Carolina. 

The fires have been fueled by weeks of mostly sunny and dry conditions. 

Ryan Lubbers / North Carolina Forest Service

More than 5,000 firefighters have been dispatched to battle wildfires in the Southeast, including more than a dozen blazes burning in western North Carolina.  

Image of Flags Outside Climate Conference
AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy

World leaders and climate change negotiators gathered in Marrakech, Morocco yesterday for the first day of a United Nations climate talks conference. Leaders are following up on last year’s historic meeting in Paris where they developed a blueprint for reducing carbon emissions and voluntarily pledged to do their part to limit the rise in global temperatures.

A study shows potentially dangerous levels of Chromium-6 in wells across the state.
Kelly Stemcosky / Flickr Creative Commons

Researchers at Duke University have found widespread contamination of North Carolina well-water with hexavalent chromium. Researchers initially believed the cancer-causing toxin was coming from coal ash ponds. But Duke professor Avner Vengosh said his new study shows the dangerous compound is naturally occurring across the state.

flooding in the Fayetteville area after Hurricane Matthew
Photo courtesy of Kareen White

As floodwaters finally recede away from eastern North Carolina, families have returned to their homes to survey the damage and pick up the pieces.

What they are finding is that this could end up as one of the costliest storms in U.S. history.

view of flooded I-95 after Hurricane Matthew
Jay Price / WUNC

Although there hasn’t been a drop of rain to fall from the sky since the weekend, the worst flooding could still be ahead for areas in southeastern North Carolina.

That's because rain from Hurricane Matthew that fell on areas inland – like the Triangle – will continue to flow toward the coast, collecting in ever-growing rivers that will surge through areas like Goldsboro, Kinston and Lumberton along the way.

view of flooded I-95 after Hurricane Matthew
Jay Price / WUNC

Update: As of Tuesday afternoon, portions of Interstate 95 have been reopened. I-95 South is now closed betwwen Exit 56 (US-301) and Exit 13 (I-74), in Robeson and Cumberland County. I-95 North is closed between Exit 13 (I-74) and Exit 22 (US-301), in Robeson County.

North Carolina transportation officials closed 60 miles of Interstate 95 on Monday as flood waters from Hurricane Matthew continued to wreak havoc on motorists.

Pages