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The Lumberton, North Carolina Flood of 2016: A Community Resilience Focused Technical Investigation



John W. van de Lindt, Walter G. Peacock, Judith Mitrani-Reiser, Nathanael Rosenheim, Derya Deniz, Maria Dillard, Tori Tomiczek, Maria Koliou, Andrew Graettinger, Patrick Crawford, Kenneth W. Harrison, Andre Barbosa, Jennifer Tobin, Jennifer Helgeson, Lori Peek, Mehrdad Memari, Elaina Sutley, Sara Hamideh, Donghwan Gu, Stephen A. Cauffman, Juan Fung


In early October 2016 Hurricane Matthew crossed North Caroline as a category 1 storm with some areas receiving 15-18 inches of rainfall on already saturated soil. The NIST-funded Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning teamed with researchers from NIST's Community Resilience and Applied Economics programs to conduct a quick response field study focused on the small city of Lumberton, NC and the flooding they experienced from the Lumber River. Lumberton is an ethnically diverse community with a higher than average poverty and unemployment rate, an average civil infrastructure for a city of 22,000, and possesses an organized governance structure. This field study is the first of a series of annual field studies to document and better understand Lumberton's recovery. This type of longitudinal is critical to study community resilience and ultimately provide data and insight into making U.S. communities more resilient to natural hazards. This community resilience-focused field study presented herein as Volume 1 of a report series, had two major objectives: First, to establish and document initial conditions for the longitudinal resilience field study of Lumberton's recovery with a focus on the most heavily affected area located within a particular school zone; and secondly, to facilitate and document the development and first application of a combined engineering-social science field study protocol that provides a quantitative linkage between flood damage and socio-economics including race/ethnicity, income, tenancy status, and education level. Population dislocation probabilities were found to be higher for black and Native American households than for white households given the presence of the same residential damage state following the flood.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1230
Report Number


van de Lindt, J. , Peacock, W. , Mitrani-Reiser, J. , Rosenheim, N. , Deniz, D. , Dillard, M. , Tomiczek, T. , Koliou, M. , Graettinger, A. , Crawford, P. , Harrison, K. , Barbosa, A. , Tobin, J. , Helgeson, J. , Peek, L. , Memari, M. , Sutley, E. , Hamideh, S. , Gu, D. , Cauffman, S. and Fung, J. (2018), The Lumberton, North Carolina Flood of 2016: A Community Resilience Focused Technical Investigation, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 22, 2024)
Created October 28, 2018, Updated October 12, 2021