Flooding can be caused by high tides, heavy rainfall, or coastal storms. Regardless of the cause, flooding causes major impacts to our communities. Many studies have analyzed the region’s vulnerability to flooding and possible adaptation strategies, but these studies have focused on informing the debate rather than changing local policy. The next step will be to use this information to decide which policies need to be changed and projects need to be built.
Last Thursday, the region took this step when the HRPDC voted to establish a Special Committee to help the region plan for both recurrent flooding and sea level rise. This Committee will be responsible for developing policy and other recommendations for local governments, advocating for state and federal support, and serving as the primary regional contact for coordinating efforts with academic institutions and federal and state agencies. Initially, the members of the Committee will be local government staff from across Hampton Roads representing various departments (such planning, public works, and economic development). Other stakeholders, such as the military, will be invited and encouraged to participate.