This week in history we look back 10, 25 and 50 years to see what was going on in the eastern Wake County area.
In 2004, floodwater protection was under scrutiny in Zebulon. In 1989, Zebulon was preparing for a test of its emergency alert system. And in 1964, a local teacher received a grant to UNC for a science session.
With Hurricane Arthur fresh on everyone’s mind, people are thinking about hurricane precautions. In 2004, 5 years after Hurricane Floyd, the town of Zebulon was still having issues with flood sites.
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Almost five years after Hurricane Floyd flooded them and several months after a set deadline, 12 houses in the Pineview subdivision are still waiting to be officially confirmed flood proof.
With another hurricane season arriving, the town of Zebulon is worried about 12 homes on Dobro Court and Southland Drive in Pineview. A settlement between the town, subdivision developer Ken Hinton and the affected homeowners was made last summer stating nine out of the 12 houses were supposed to be made flood poof – or “retrofitted” – by the end of January. The remaining three, owned by Hinton or his family, were supposed to be retrofitted by the end of April.
But as of July 1, none of the houses were legally declared flood proof, although some of them had been fixed. While the developer had picked up five of the 12 issued building permits from the Town Hall to be able to do the repairs, seven permits were still waiting at the town’s planning department. And none of the 12 houses had been inspected or reissued the needed certificates of occupancy, Zebulon Planning Director Lyddia Pritchard said.
Making sure the public is aware of emergencies that potentially threaten their safety is a big deal. In 1989, no one had smart phones, and very few people had cellular phones. No one had the ability to receive amber alerts, weather warnings and other emergency texts custom-tailored to certain localities. So Wake County used the next best thing.
Residents of Wake County may hear sirens during the period of 11:50 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 8. Wake County is scheduled to conduct tests every three months to assure that sirens at 14 locations, including the Zebulon water tower and the Wendell water tower, are functioning properly.
These tests will consist of three phases: a steady tone for one minute, a two-minute delay to permit the respective sirens to reset, and a one-minute wavering tone.
If an actual emergency condition did necessitate that the public be advised to turn on their radios or televisions for further information from the Emergency Broadcast System, the alert signal (consisting of one or more three-minute steady tones) would be activated. On the other hand, if conditions make it advisable for personnel to take cover, a three-minute wavering tone would be repeated as often as deemed necessary.
Alma H. Smith is one of 38 junior and senior high school teachers from all over the country taking part in a Summer Institute in Earth Sciences at the University of North Carolina June 8 - July 16.
This is one of 20 Earth Science Institutes sponsored in the nation by the National Science Foundation, which provides participants a stipend of $450, plus a travel allowance and $90 for each dependent. Participants are exempt from tuition and fees.
The Institute offers participants three courses, of which they may take two. They are “Topics in Physical Geology;” “Topics in Historical Geology;” and “Topcs in Physical Geography.”
Participants are assigned to one afternoon laboratory class being devoted to the identification of the more common minerals and rocks.
In addition, participants will take two field trips, one to the Coastal Plain and one to the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, for the purpose of studying the geology, landforms and rocks of these areas.
Mrs. Smith is the wife of Horace Smith of Zebulon. She isa graduate of Atlantic Christian College.