This episode is the third installment in our new Main Street NC series from the WUNC Politics Podcast. When Hurricane Matthew hit North Carolina in 2016, every business on Main Street in the small Columbus County town of Fair Bluff was underwater. A few had reopened by 2018 when Hurricane Florence brought a repeat of the same flood damage.
Mayor Billy Hammond and other town leaders ultimately came up with a dramatic plan to address the issue: Build a whole new downtown-style commercial district a few blocks up the street on higher ground. To hear more about Fair Bluff's plans for a flood-proof future, and how it hopes to make its close proximity to the Lumber River an asset, WUNC spoke with Hammond and Town Manager Al Leonard.