PAddleBoarding on a Street after a flood
Here is a young girl paddle boarding on a street in our district after Hurricane Matthew. Hurricane Matthew only reached 80 mph winds and only came as close as off the southern coast of the Outer Banks.
Cost Effective solutions to minimize flood damage
According to NOAA, flooding in Virginia Beach has increased 250% since 2000. A 2017 study shows that every dollar spent now on mitigation saves $6 in future disaster costs. When strong downpours can flood our streets, a slow moving Category One hurricane could be catastrophic. The infamous 1933 hurricane made landfall at Kitty Hawk at 8:00 a.m. at 85 mph. It moved quickly through Norfolk and was already in the Middle Peninsula by 2:00 p.m. Yet the damage it created was epic. In 2016 the closest that Hurricane Matthew got to us was off the coast of North Carolina beyond the Outer Banks, at only 80 mph.
Fortunately there are cost effective solutions already available. These solutions for new construction and landscaping provide an efficient way to reduce runoff from heavy rain into the storm drain system which gets overwhelmed and creates flooding. This will help reduce the city’s storm runoff costs and prevent the need to build other more expensive solutions to mitigate flooding.
Read morehere about how sea level rise affects flooding.
Pervious concrete in driveways and parking lots absorb water like a sponge. Let’s provide incentives to builders and homeowners to use this instead of traditional concrete so less water reaches the storm drain system. Watch the video below!
Mature trees absorb rain as it falls, slowing down the amount of water that runs into city drains. They also absorb CO2 emissions and help slow global warming. Let’s offer builders and homeowners incentives to preserve mature trees, just as Green Building systems such as LEED reward a large percentage of shade. This photo from the city’s website shows the increase in impermeable development in Virginia Beach between 1954 and today.
Permeable pavers placed on a foundation of small rocks allow water to percolate through the joints.
Green Building systems such as LEED rewards builders and homeowners for keeping a large percentage of their lot permeable