City leaders, community members discuss resiliency plans for Hampton flooding concerns

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Posted at 10:59 AM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 18:39:57-04

HAMPTON, Va. - The City of Hampton and community leaders are wrapping up a three-day workshop to create a plan to address rising sea levels and flood mitigation efforts for Phoebus, Buckroe, and downtown Hampton.

The public is invited to attend a presentation at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18 at Jones Magnet Middle School to hear the strategic plan for those areas.

“Coastal communities like Buckroe continue to attract visitors, and new residents to cities, so any residency efforts for Buckroe benefit not just Buckroe but Hampton in general,” said Buckroe Improvement League President Cecile Trevathan.

Resiliency officer Carolyn Heaps said their big issues are coastal and tidal flooding, rainwater flooding and storm surge.

“You get water back flowing through infrastructure, coming up through drainage pipes where you’re supposed to be taking water out, they’re pushing water back in because it’s coming up from the tide,” Heaps said.

She said they're considering options that include constructing more infrastructure like sea walls, pumps, and even creating an intentional flood plain.

“Reality is is that is going to get worse with climate change, and particularly if we don’t take action to address how our landscape looks differently and how it functions differently," Heaps said.

Studies show rising tides and sinking land have resulted in 1.47 feet of relative sea level rise in Hampton Roads since 1927.