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Update on Kelly Dike and Hurricane Preparedness

By Charlotte Smith

The White Oak Dike in Kelly was severely damaged during Hurricane Florence in 2018. The Kelly Dike Committee, the Bladen County Board of Commissioners, other local and State elected officials, Four County Electric, and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission worked together to repair the issues caused at the dike by the storm. 

Commissioner Peterson and Rep. Rouzer

Bladen County Commissioner, Charles Ray Peterson announced there was more good news around the Kelly Dike. 

He said, “As we get ready to prepare our County for the upcoming Hurricane season. I thought it would be a good idea to share an update around the Kelly dike. I want to let the Kelly Community know that we are still working on the Dike.”

He added, “Things are moving slowly but the needed steps are happening.”

Following is the commissioner’s Kelly Dike Update:

Field targets were set by Dave Edwards the week prior to 3/7/20.

The aerial survey was flown by GPI on 3/8/20.

Files of the aerial survey were uploaded to CATLIN from GPI on 4/13/20.

White Oak survey sheets were prepared by CATLIN on 4/21/20 to lay out the drilling locations.

Drilling layouts for locations of CPTs and test pits by CATLIN geotechnical engineer were completed on 5/5/20.

We have contacted all of the property owners (where we need access to perform the drilling) by phone for whom we could find numbers.

Drilling is scheduled to commence next week – the week of 5/22/20.

We estimate it will take three (3) weeks to complete the drilling, weather permitting.

The White Oak levee structures are located on the McFayden tract of Whitehall Plantation Game Land.

In September 2019 a contractor by the name of Southern Landscaping repaired the breaches and was scheduled to build ramps to protect the dike/levees from traffic damage. According to Peterson, the contracted repairs made on the dike in 2019 were funded by the Kelly Water Dike and Drainage District, which had approximately $35,000 to work with for the project.

The repairs to the dike are only temporary, according to reports. The county commissioners agreed to open the County’s discretionary fund for a line item up to $35,000 to help with the dike repairs. The county spent the funding to repair the breaches at the Dike. Four County Electric was also assisted with funding for the flood gates.

Peterson explained the long term plan is to get the Department of Defense to take over the project after an engineer and design study is provided. The state elected officials, such as Rep. William Brisson, Rep. Bill Rabon, agreed to fund $300,000 for an engineer and design study for the White Oak Dike. Peterson confirmed the County of Bladen received the funding from the State for the project. 

The Atlantic Hurricane Season is June 1-November 30. Townships and community leaders may help prepare for Hurrican Season by identifying risks to the community, developing plans to help prevent flooding and damages to property, take action on those plans, and by inspiring others to prepare for hurricanes, according to

Photos of Kelly Church, Community, and County Officials discussing Dike in Oct. 2018.

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