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* Hampton City News

Posted on: January 17, 2024

City, Army Corps of Engineers to study sea level rise

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Jan. 17, 2024 — The City of Hampton and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will work together to investigate flooding along coastal regions and rivers on the Peninsula that is exacerbated by sea level rise.

The city and the Norfolk district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received approval in December from the Corps’ national headquarters to conduct the Virginia Peninsula Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study. The study includes low-lying areas that have experienced repetitive damage from coastal storms, rainfall and flooding. 

The study is 100% federally funded for an initial $3 million and approved under the Long-Term Disaster Recovery Investment Plan component of the 2019 Additional Supplemental Appropriations Disaster Relief Act.

Hampton City Manager Mary Bunting said: "Hampton has taken a very proactive position on mitigating the impact of storms and sea-level rise. This is a study we have been seeking for several years and are pleased that it is moving forward. We are very excited for the opportunity to partner with our regional partners and the Army Corp of Engineers. Floodwaters cross borders, and this comprehensive study is an opportunity for the Peninsula to have a regional planning approach for shoreline protection projects. The Army Corps’ study will provide an understanding of those issues and develop potential solutions that will make the region safer and stronger."

The study area is comprised of the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson and Williamsburg, as well and York and James River counties. It is bounded by the James River to the south, Chesapeake Bay to the east and the York River to the north.

The study will examine the federal interest and the feasibility of implementing measures that may include building elevation or flood-proofing, nature-based solutions such as wetland restoration, and structural measures such as tide gates and flood walls to help manage the risk of storm damage.  

 “We’re excited to partner with the City of Hampton and work with the Cities of Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg, and the counties of James City and York,” said Col. Brian Hallberg, commander of the Norfolk District of the Army Corps of Engineers. “This study aims to examine suitable, feasible, and acceptable measures to reduce the effects of coastal storms and strengthen the resilience of the Peninsula region against flooding.” 

Based on the study findings, the city and surrounding communities will partner with the Army Corps of Engineers to develop a plan to design measures that will lead to construction that will tangibly manage coastal storm risk and improve economic resiliency of the Peninsula region.  

Click here to see a detailed description of the study.

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