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Virginia Beach leaders to discuss flood protection plans

A flood protection plan will be presented to city council members during upcoming council briefings.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Flooding is a major concern in Virginia Beach. On Tuesday night, city leaders will discuss the next steps to combat the ongoing problem.

People who live in the community said they are relieved to hear about the next steps.

“My house flooded and it's a real wake-up call,” said Bob Jennings.

Jennings lives in Windsor Woods in Virginia Beach, which is not close to the ocean or the Chesapeake Bay. But in 2016, Hurricane Matthew brought a few feet of water into his home.

“It was shocking. Even though I have had military experience, it was pretty shocking to have your house flood in the middle of the night with water and then look out the window and see everyone look like we lived in a lake,” Jennings said.

Last November, Virginia Beach voters approved spending millions of dollars to fix the flooding issues. City leaders are getting to work.

“This is what we have wanted for years,” explained Virginia Wasserburg with Stop the Flooding NOW.

A flood protection plan will be presented to city council members on Tuesday afternoon during council briefings. The plan online said some flooding mitigation projects are already under construction, some are out to bid, and others are being designed.

Wasserburg said, “It affects us all. Everyone has been looking at this for decades and going when are we going to get some help? When are we going to get some change? That’s now.”

Wasserburg said she is ready to see the improvements and said all of them will enhance the community.

She said, “The projects that are coming out of this, it's all a collaborative effort. It is a collective way of addressing flooding and it's going to work.”

On Wednesday night, the city's Planning and Community Development Department is holding a meeting to develop a guide for commercial and neighborhood area enhancement and flood mitigation strategies.

The Community Revitalization Guidelines will be developed to consider environmental sustainability and the overall health, safety, and welfare of the community, exploring ways to improve accessibility, connectivity, and opportunities for residents to live, work and play. 

The meeting will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library. It will allow for in-person and virtual audiences. For more info and the Zoom link, click here.

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