VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - As it works to combat the growing effects of sea-level rise, the city of Virginia Beach is asking the public to weigh in.
In the first of seven public meetings, Monday night, Virginia Beach joined with researchers from the Old Dominion University Resilience Collaborative inside Kempsville High School.
The two groups turned the cafeteria into meeting room with several stations asking residents a number of questions.
"What are the things about the community that they value and (we) have them map those on some maps and what are the challenges? We want them to tell us where the travel disruptions may be and, also, we want to hear about how they would like to see the city adapt in the future," said Michelle Covi with ODU.
Deputy City Manager Tom Leahy says sea-level rise and flooding are the biggest issue the Virginia Beach has faced in 20 years. The city is currently in the middle of a study that will hopefully help protect against rising waters.
"In the last 50 years, sea water has come up a foot. It's going to rise at least another foot and a half in the next 50 years," said Leahy. "Everybody in Virginia Beach needs to be interested in this."
Some of the options to keep water from entering streets and neighborhoods include levees, stormsurge barriers and natural solutions like wetlands.
Following the conclusion of each meeting through January, the ODU team says it'll compile the results and they will be included in study results to determine which direction Virginia Beach will head in addressing sea-level rise and flooding.
The schedule for the seven meetings is as follows (all times are 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.):
Monday, December 4th Elizabeth River Watershed Kempsville HS
Wednesday, December 6th Eastern Lynnhaven Cox HS
Monday, December 11th Oceanfront Cooke Elementary
Wednesday, January 17th Stumpy Lake/North Landing River Landstown HS
Monday, January 22nd Back Bay Kellam HS
Thursday, January 25th Western Lynnhaven Princess Anne HS
Monday, January 29th Little Creek Bayside HS