Thursday, July 07, 2011

North Carolina solution to landslides - kill the landslide mapping program

North Carolina and Tennessee have spent $20 million in the last 6 months to repair damage to major roads from landslides, rockfalls, and mudslides. So what is North Carolina's response? The Legislature voted to eliminate the landslide mapping program at the North Carolina Geological Survey, nominally as a budget saving effort.

However, news reports describe opposition to the landslide mapping program home builders, real estate interests, and local and state officials, who fear that disclosure of landslide risk will discourage buyers, especially those from out of state. [right, demolished remains of a residence at the location of a fatal debris flow on Dec. 11, 2003 near Maggie Valley, North Carolina. Much of the demolition took place during the effort to rescue the victim buried in the back of the house. The embankment failure that originated in the scarp in the background mobilized into a debris flow. Credit, NCGS]

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