NORFOLK, VA – The effort to make the city of Norfolk more resilient against coastal storms took a step forward on Monday as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Headquarters, approved the team to move forward in the study process.
The study passed the Agency Decision Milestone, which means Corps leadership agreed with the study findings to date, and has approved the Recommended plan to move forward towards a final report.
“The Army Corps of Engineers is a tremendous partner and I appreciate the proactive approach the Corps and the City are taking to reduce risk and mitigate flooding in our city, “ said Douglas L. Smith, Norfolk City Manager. “We are thrilled to reach this milestone and look forward to the Chief of Engineers Report recommending the projects that will help us create the coastal community of the future.”
The study assumes a 1.25 foot rise in sea level between 2026 and 2075 and calls for more than $1.7 billion in projects to protect the city from inundation during large coastal storm events. The plan includes a combination of structural measures such as flood walls, levees and storm surge barriers, as well as non-structural and natural and nature based features.
"The water is undoubtedly rising in the City of Norfolk - we see that frequently on our flooded streets,” said Col. Jason Kelly, Norfolk District commander. “This project, in combination with all of the outstanding efforts that the City of Norfolk is executing, will provide increased protection for the city infrastructure and population as the coastal flooding threat will continue to increase in the future."
Moving forward, some tweaks to the final plan are expected as the study continues through the planning process. The final plan will be available for public review and comment before being submitted to Congress in the form of a Chief of Engineers Report, which is expected in January, 2019.
The projects recommended in the final report can be included in future Congressional authorizations and appropriations to be constructed, reducing the risk of storm damage to the city of Norfolk.