NORFOLK, Va. – The City of Norfolk will get a hefty sum to increase community resilience to flooding.
On January 19, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced its plan for investing the $14 billion from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to strengthen port and waterway supply chains and bolster climate resilience. In this plan, the City of Norfolk will receive $249,331,000.
The Army Corps plan also gives the City of Norfolk $328 million to increase community resilience to flooding and to deepen the harbor. About $249 million of that amount is earmarked for coastal resilience projects.
Norfolk has been identified as one of the most flood-vulnerable cities on the east coast. And with all the military in the area, it makes sense that the Corps decided to give Norfolk a hand. Much of downtown has been built on fill. The area is at risk because of sinking fill and rising water levels.
The Downtown Norfolk Floodwall protects from flooding occurring in the adjacent Elizabeth River and forms the backbone for current and future protection. The existing wall was completed in 1971 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and affords the city’s downtown area a reduced flood insurance rate by accreditation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) due to the protection that it provides.