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Army Corps of Engineers envisions Norfolk as model city to fight flooding

The group wants to make Norfolk its model city when it comes to addressing coastal flooding. It's also looking at The Lafayette River and Lambert's Point.

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- It's the problem plaguing Norfolk, and officials warn it could get worse.

Spend enough time here and you exactly what we're talking about: flooding.

Now the Army Corps of Engineers wants to use Norfolk as a "model city" when it comes to holding back the water.

The Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Norfolk are taking a look at storm risk management. The Corps is considering the impact of installing flood walls, storm-surge barriers, home elevation and natural options. The wall and barrier are being considered for The Hague.

"That area right at Brambleton Avenue. When a large storm event is coming, that gate could close. We're also looking at a permanent closure there, so that area within The Hague would become a separate water body from the Elizabeth River," said Susan Conner, whose team is over the project. She says they would only put something in place if the cost-benefit works out.

The Corps is also considering putting a wetland on green space in Stockley Gardens, and creating a living shoreline at The Lafayette River.

"Making the shorelines something greener, maybe oyster-reefs and some vegetated areas around, rather than just all hard shoreline there," said Conner. "It is able to better buffer wave action."

The earliest any of these projects would happen is at least 10 years in the future, but the city and Army Corps wants to get a jump on things, to keep Norfolk afloat. By August, the Army Corps of Engineers hopes to have a recommendation in place.

If you're interested in learning more and providing feedback, you can attend the public meeting on June 8 at the Lambert's Point Community Center, from 6 to 8 p.m. The address is 1251 W 42nd St, Norfolk, VA 23508

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