City of Alexandria Establishes Internal “Strike Team” for Flood Management and Mitigation; Identifies $2 Million in Additional Stormwater Funding
For Immediate Release: October 5, 2020
In recognition of the increasing impacts of flooding throughout the region, Alexandria City Manager Mark Jinks has established an internal "strike team” to focus on flood management and mitigation. The rapid-response staff group, which includes representatives from eight City departments, will accelerate development of policy, planning, investment, and funding to address neighborhood flooding. This team will make recommendations to the City Manager for future consideration by City Council, and will provide opportunities for public engagement and technical assistance to residents and businesses affected by flooding.
The strike team will analyze existing stormwater capital and operating plans and budgets; consider strategies to accelerate projects focused on increasing the capacity of the City's stormwater system; and make recommendations in other key areas to aggressively improve the City's ability to withstand severe rainfall and flooding events.
Climate change has made once-rare severe rainfall events more frequent. Over the last 15 months, three severe rainstorms have resulted in flash flooding in Alexandria. While the increasing frequency, scale and intensity of severe weather continues to cause significant flooding throughout the region, major changes to flood prevention infrastructure require a multi-year process to plan, fund and construct. The strike team will explore both short- and long-term solutions to mitigate property and infrastructure damage, as well as protect the health and safety of residents and businesses.
The City’s Department of Transportation & Environmental Services will lead this effort. The team will also include representatives from the City Attorney’s Office; Office of Management and Budget; and Departments of Code Administration; Fire; Information Technology Services; Planning and Zoning; and Project Implementation, with consultation from additional departments as needed.
The strike team held its first meeting on October 1. The team will provide a written report to the City Manager by the end of the calendar year, which will identify needed capital investments, propose prioritization of both planned and new projects focused on stormwater capacity and maintenance, and outline funding strategies including the adequacy of the City’s stormwater utility fees. The report will also pinpoint opportunities for City-sponsored grant and possible tax incentive programs to assist residents and business owners seeking to install flood protection measures on private property. In advance of the recommendations of the strike team, the City Manager will recommend to City Council that $2 million from unspent FY2020 City general funds be allocated to a contingent to fund additional stormwater mitigation activities in this fiscal year.
Visit alexandriava.gov/Flooding for more information about flood preparedness and the City's mitigation efforts. Property owners are also encouraged to consult with their insurance and maintenance providers to implement best practices to keep their property safe.
For inquiries from the news media only, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.746.3959.
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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/118155.