by James C. Sherlock

Updated Aug 27 at 9:46 AM

From the latest weather forecast:

Hurricane Laura is expected to strengthen into a Category 4 as it heads for a destructive landfall near the Texas and Louisiana border Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. A catastrophic storm surge and damaging winds will batter the region and a threat of flooding rain and strong winds will extend well inland. …

The hurricane is now a Category 3 with 125 mph winds and is expected to continue strengthening. Laura is forecast to become a Category 4 hurricane later today as it approaches the northwest Gulf Coast.

Laura’s maximum sustained winds jumped from 75 mph to 125 mph in the 24 hours ending 10 a.m. CDT Wednesday. That increase in maximum sustained winds easily meets the definition of rapid intensification in a hurricane.

Laura has prompted hurricane and storm surge warnings for the northwest Gulf Coast.

A huge amount of money over the past 13 years has been spent to create hurricane protection systems not only for Northwestern Texas, but especially in Louisiana. The Louisiana projects have been led by the Corps of Engineers and Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and have completely transformed that region, not only with levees and pumping stations, but also with restoration of nearly 48,000 acres of land and 60 miles of barrier islands and berms. In Texas, the Galveston District of the Corps of Engineers has built seven major federal levees.

This storm will likely test the systems like no other.

So, while this is of interest to all Americans, why highlight it on a Virginia blog?

We care here because the two areas of the United States other than in Texas and Louisiana most threatened by a combination of sea level rise and storm surge are Miami and Hampton Roads.  The great Chesapeake and Potomac hurricane of 1933 flooded downtown Norfolk streets six feet deep — before the last 87 years of sea level rise and subsidence.

We care here because river flooding is regularly deadly and destructive.

We care here because the biggest natural disaster in Virginia history occurred in Nelson County in 1969. It resulted from flooding from Hurricane Camille. It required a special session of the General Assembly to declare over 200 people officially dead because the mudslides buried them so deep (see image above) that the bodies would never be found.  relatives needed the official declaration to get the life insurance of the dead to rebuild.

See the Washington Post for the details.

I spent several years trying to get the state of Virginia to step up as a partner with the Corps of Engineers to at least plan storm damage protection for Virginia’s coasts, rivers and mountains. My home district Delegate, Jason Miyares, introduced a bill I drafted to make that happen.

The joint federal-state hurricane and flood protection planning effort for coastal, river and mountain communities would have cost the Commonwealth something like $15- 20 million for its share.

The Corps of Engineers must be convinced of a state’s willingness to follow through and build to the plans or it won’t spend its efforts and money to do the planning. It will also not recommend to Congress that it prioritize the federal funding that will pay for 65% of the cost of construction without such assurance.

The bill failed. As a result, the state won’t participate.

The General Assembly instead was successfully lobbied to send money to Willam and Mary and ODU to study the problems.  Unlike the Corps of Engineers, Neither of those fine institutions does heavy construction.  Virginia cities and counties are officially on their own to pay the full costs of any storm and flooding mitigation construction not planned and developed under the federal program.

We certainly have hope that the residents and infrastructure of Texas and Louisiana will be safe and their hurricane protection systems will hold.  Update: Lake Charles was devastated by the Category 4 winds.  Hurricane Laura is so strong it has caused the Mississippi River to reverse directions.  No word yet on how the hurricane and flood protection system has held up.

The General Assembly instead was successfully lobbied to send money to Willam and Mary and ODU to study the problems. Unlike the Corps of Engineers, Neither of those fine institutions does heavy construction. Virginia cities and counties are officially on their own to pay the full costs of any storm and flooding mitigation construction not planned and developed under the federal program.

Virginians will have to stick with prayer.

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46 responses to “Virginia Has a Prayer”

  1. idiocracy Avatar

    Virginia not wanting to spend money on infrastructure?


    1. Hey wait what is the PPT and tolls for?

      1. idiocracy Avatar

        Graft and corruption.

  2. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    Cap’n, the tax revenue to be collected from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — the carbon tax to be paid by all Virginia electric utilities using fossil fuels — will be dedicated in part to coastal protection projects. I’m sure all will be chosen based on sound engineering with no political games involved in disbursing those funds at all….

    Perhaps they just didn’t want to let a Republican legislator into the game? Just tell Democrats the problem is not just the usual, standing threats of Mother Nature, but instead the result of Evil Man-made Climate Change, and there is no shortage of our money they are willing to spend. No matter what they spend, prayers are a wise suggestion in face of a Cat 3,4 or 5 hurricane. Virginia’s turn will come. I remember the rain that night of Camille, and the floodwaters in downtown Roanoke after Juan in 1985. That pattern on the weather map has my attention.

    1. sherlockj Avatar

      They are playing an entirely different game.

      Northam issued Executive Order 24 to get this going:
      “This executive order provides a pathway to increase resilience to these hazards in the Commonwealth and includes a provision for the Commonwealth’s first Coastal Resilience Master Plan, with the goal of aligning state efforts and assisting local governments in reducing flood risk through planning and implementing large-scale flood protection and adaptation initiatives.”

      I was involved the the debates in the GA that resulted in this effort.

      I recommended taking state money and funding directly the planning efforts of the Corps of Engineers to create a master plan for the state and then executing it with 65% federal money and the same organization that built the plans. As an aside, the Corps must approve any local plans of these sorts even if they do not write them.

      Instead the state created an unapologetic boondoggle for ODU and William and Mary. Money is going to those two institutions’ Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency (CCRFR) and William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) . See

      The CCRFR “Combin(es) the expertise and resources provided by Old Dominion, William & Mary Virginia Coastal Policy Center and (William and Mary’s) (VIMS), we conduct studies, provide training and offer a variety of services in the area of recurrent flooding resilience to local governments, state agencies, industries and citizens of the Commonwealth.” Notice they build nothing. Ever.

      There is no master plan, only a requirement for one. If a master plan is built by the state, it will have to be re-planned by the Corps in order to qualify for federal construction money. But then, there is no prospect of state money for construction, so the Corps won’t waste their time.

      Instead, as I said before, we have an unapologetic boondoggle. Pray.

  3. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Capt. Jim. Good post.You recognize the obvious. The threat of climate change on your hone area. Now we can have an intelligent discussion. Without dipping into the RGGI Flak juice

    1. sherlockj Avatar

      Peter, read my reply above in response to Steve concerning what Virginia is actually doing. The only way that is green is in the transfer of money to favored institutions.

      1. Steve Haner Avatar
        Steve Haner

        Well, there was a hint of sarcasm in my statement of faith there would be no political games. But that is a revenue stream they could tap. Don’t like the tax, but if the tax happens anyway, at least spend it intelligently.

        1. sherlockj Avatar

          Spending intelligently is not a word that often appears in he same sentence with the GA in matters of flood control.

          I watched up close the William and Mary and ODU lobbying on this. In their defense, they never said they could solve any problems, only study them. And publish papers and reports. As many as the money will support. I asked if they could print a million copies of their heaviest study so that we could use them to hold back the storm surge. The answer was unprintable.

          Somewhere in Virginia there is a forest at risk.

  4. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    We may be able to protect the coastal cities, but loss of the salt marshes will be devastating. Places like Poquoson, and Mathews won’t be there.

    1. sherlockj Avatar

      I’m not so sure. The Corps thinks submerging salt marshes can be restored.

      I spent a lot of time with the Norfolk Division of the Corps when I was drafting the bill that was defeated. When the Corps does its planning, it prioritizes nature-based solutions and only then defaults to man-made structures to defend against flooding. Estuary restoration is high on their list. They restored 60 miles of barrier islands in Southern Louisiana.

      For salt marsh restoration approaches, See PUBLICATION NOTIFICATION: Thin Layer Placement of Sediments for Restoring Ecological Function to Submerging Salt Marshes: A Quantitative Review of Scientific Literature at

      If they were to complete a comprehensive plan for Hampton Roads, there is a lot of work like that that would appear.

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        Problem is that Louisiana used to be salt marsh too. I suppose it makes a difference as to high, how fast. Takes a long time to make that mud. It’s the same problem with coral reefs. A few degrees, a few feet, and they die.

        We’re also losing the barrier isles on the Eastern Shore. There’s a neat old documentary on moving houses off Cedar Isle. There’s only one structure left ( (37.6727314, -75.5936965) ). The barrier is overrun regularly. We rented one of the house due west of that last structure by a mile. The place we stayed, a good 4 feet above the marsh, lost the lower floor to storm surge a month before we rented it.

        The point being that 20 years ago, there were beach houses out there, and the place we stayed had never been flooded…

        1. sherlockj Avatar

          I am sure you are not as old as I, but I remember being taught in grade school how the Mississippi River flooded every spring and silted the Delta.

          Under a political mandate, the Corps of Engineers straightened the river and made sure the shipping channel remained open. Oops. No more natural restoration of the Delta. Erosion and settling did the rest.

          Now the federal government and the state of Louisiana have spent over $20 billion so far trying to restore what they destroyed and build storm surge barriers to boot. Hope it works.

          1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

            Only 8 years younger. Enough to miss the debacle with a 297.

            But, I digress. Nope, I remember watching the ACE films of the locks and levees being built in some elementary class. They did such a great job of flood control that people built towns and houses on the black dirt. How’d that turn out? As Steve is fond of pointing out, even the ancient Egyptians knew about building on the black stuff.

    2. Mathews isn’t losing the marshes. They’ve been able to keep pace with the minimal LOCAL relative sea level rise. (We’re protected from subsidence by the crater and no overuse of our aquifers.) We could accommodate up to 7 mm of RSLR. [Titus and Strange, 2008, EPA, ] Current sea level trend is about 3.75 mm. in the last 70 years, about 1.23 ft/100 years at Kiptopeke ( the nearest NOAA tide gage also inside the crater.)

      But if the state doesn’t start addressing the VDOT outfalls (which are channelized natural streams) and let them flow, there won’t be enough natural and necessary sediment to allow tidal marsh accretion. Right now, rainfall sits in the VDOT roadside ditches instead of moving downstream. The material the lower aquatic forms and fish feed on should come through that flow. Lose the lower forms, it unbalances the whole food chain.

      What we are losing are our barrier beaches. The barrier islands are all but gone. The Corps said in the Hurricane Sandy report, one of the best hurricane mitigations is to restore barrier beaches. The state and county will not address the breach in the Winter Harbor beach because VIMS in their wisdom only allows replenishment south of the breach to protect the tiger beetles. If they would allow replenishment to the north, the natural movement of wind and wave would carry it southward toward New Point.

      With the breach open, it’s an open path to the interior lands and erosion. Before VDOT took 6 ft of sand for road building in the 40s, the area could sustain a 7 ft storm surge with minimal impact. Not any more.

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        That’s the problem, loss of the barrier beaches and islands.

        I like the North River. Cruise it often, and take the dink up the, uh, how to put this delicately, the effluence canal to town. It used to be where the sewers dumped 100 years ago. The houses on the east side are okay, but the west bank, where we anchor, is not very high and very, very, flat. If that river rose 2 feet, some very nice houses will be lost.

        The whole of eastern Virginia is like a waterbed, 8 feet of clay atop 100 feet of sand saturated with fresh water floating on top of salty stuff. The idiot who built my house sunk a 20-foot well to water the lawn. The well WAS ten feet from 18,000 pounds of brick chimney. It cracked the wall but good. Corked that bad boy! Within a year the chimney rose back into poisition, and repointing the bricks, problem solved.

      2. sherlockj Avatar

        Carol, I contacted by email my old acquaintances at the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), quoted some of your comment above, and asked them to let me know where to most effectively complain. USACE has a federal enforcement role in environmental issues concerning water and should certainly inspect the VDOT outfall issue you mentioned. I’ll stir around in there until I figure it out. The Norfolk District probably has jurisdiction, but I will make certain. Jim

  5. S. E. Warwick Avatar
    S. E. Warwick

    And then there was Camille who came to Virginia via the back door and caused so much devastation

    1. sherlockj Avatar

      The remnants of Camille got stuck over Nelson County in 1969. Check the link to the Washington Post story. It deserved a Pulitzer.

  6. TooManyTaxes Avatar

    During the aftermath of the June 2012 Derecho that hit the Metro D.C. area, I was talking with some out-of-town power line repair crews. I was told that they love Dominion because storms provide these crews with lots of extra work and extra money. Dominion, unlike most power companies, doesn’t do much in terms of tree trimming and removal. More and longer outages. Dominion Energy sucks. If I could vote out its franchise, I would clearly do so.

    Spending electric ratepayer money on shore protection projects without more is simply not economically sound and, as such, unfair. We know that oceans are rising. Some of the rising is clearly the result of human use of fossil fuels but some of it is occurring naturally. One can make a good case that society should address the former. A price increase in the price of fossil fuel to discourage its use and to use the funds for climate change remedial projects can be justified.

    But why should ordinary people pay higher prices for energy to help ocean-front landowners from the effects of naturally caused higher water levels? What right does a seaside landowner have to receive “tax” dollars to protect against a naturally occurring event? It’s nothing but a transfer of wealth from lower-income people to higher income people. Similarly, if people built on reclaimed land, why should they expect others to pay more to protect their structures in locations where no structure should have been built?

    For example, analysis showed that the areas in Manhattan flooded during Hurricane Sandy were largely limited to locations built on landfill. Mother Nature is always at the ready to reclaim areas of landfill. Why should ordinary people be expected to protect expensive structures constructed on areas that would naturally be under water?

    All of these well-funded scientists should be able to develop a reasonable apportionment factor to split the costs. Just more filth from the mini-swamp in Richmond.

    1. sherlockj Avatar

      “why should ordinary people pay higher prices for energy to help ocean-front landowners from the effects of naturally caused higher water levels? What right does a seaside landowner have to receive “tax” dollars to protect against a naturally occurring event?”

      Probably rouses some readers, but has the disadvantage of not being true. Virginia Beach “ocean front landowners” are protected by a storm surge system that includes a sea wall and a 100 yd. wide beach. The Corps of Engineers built it. We have special tax districts to help pay for its maintenance and beach replenishment. Visitors from all over the state enjoy the beaches. That use of tax dollars may fit your narrative, but that is done.

      The eastern “beaches” of the Eastern Shore, however, are a figment and the barrier islands are almost gone.

      The port of Hampton Roads, the military and industrial presence and tourism are the three legs of the economic stool here. Beach flooding is not part of the problem. Flooding of the rest of the area and its 3 million people is.

      Check with the communities along the rivers and see if flooding is an issue.

      Check with the folks in Virginia’s foothills and mountains. Start in Nelson County.

      It is a fair position to oppose flood control in Virginia, but your characterization of the beneficiaries needs some work.

      1. djrippert Avatar

        Capt Sherlock:

        Seems like you are splitting hairs to me. When one looks at the totality of protecting the home values of coastal real estate there are a lot of tricks that essentially have regular inland folks paying to protect high value coastal property. For example flood insurance:

        Once upon a time Virginia Beach was buying flood prone properties and turning them into parks. Has that continued? There was also debate over whether Hampton Roads would stop allowing development in low lying areas. Has this happened?

        There is a lot of oceanfront private property that gets protected through taxpayer subsidies.

        As for Nelson County in 1969 – Camille was a freak event. The hurricane just stalled and dumped an ungodly amount of rain. It could have stalled lots of places. Nelson just got unlucky. How would anybody ever protect against that?

        1. For those in the foothills and the mountains, move uphill from the hollers and don’t build in bottom land.

          As for Virginia Beach, I gave up when the city paid a contractor millions instead of paying the Corps $1.5 million for the same plan. And the feds would have paid 65% of the cost to building the Corp’s plan. That is assuming we could have gotten Congressional funding. Last time I checked, Virginia’s Congressional delegation had no membership on the Congressional committees that authorize and fund public works programs.

          If any Virginian thinks there is a prize at the bottom of the box, there is not.

          As I said, pray.

      2. TooManyTaxes Avatar

        Sherlock – you missed the point. Some of the ocean rise is due to increased temperatures caused by human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases. One can make a good argument that the government should address this.

        But some of the ocean rise is occurring as part of an ongoing natural cycle that has changed the climate drastically over the life of the planet. That is not debatable. That is not something that should be addressed by taxpayers, except for public-owned structures.

        It’ not unlike a situation where runoff from your two neighbors on the left and right flood your property in the middle. The runoff from the left neighbor occurs naturally. But the runoff from the right neighbor just started because he altered the drainage system to channel his storm water onto your property.

        You have a good argument that the neighbor on the left needs to return his lot to its original condition and fix the damage he caused in your yard. But in no way can you require him (Mr. Right) to repair damage caused by the neighbor to the right, much less create a holding pond on Mr. Left’s property.

        1. sherlockj Avatar

          If you reject all of us working together through our local, state and federal governments to solve mutual problems, like flooding, then nothing I wrote applies. That seems to be your position, and you have as much right to yours as anyone.

          1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

            I don’t have a problem addressing “mutual problems” like mitigating the impact of greenhouse gas emissions or local storm water problems. But I have a big problem paying more for energy or higher taxes to cover the whole cost to save people’s ocean-front property when one of the causes is a natural warming cycle. That’s taking people’s money and giving it to other people and often a lot wealthier people than the ones paying higher prices and taxes.

            Let’s make up numbers. Let’s say 80% of the ocean rise is related to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and 20% is related to a natural cycle. Using those numbers, ocean-front landowners should pay 20% of the remedial costs.

            If it’s clear property will be submerged in 20 years, there should be a provision that existing homes/businesses can be maintained, but they cannot rebuild or expand the structures. Flood insurance should for structures in known floodplains expected to be under water should be phased out.

            I’m not suggesting my numbers are correct. They are arbitrary but clearly illustrate the unfairness of dumping all the costs of warming on the public and the need to provide disincentives for structures in floodplains.

            A couple years ago, a developer proposed to build houses in a floodplain in Fairfax County. Despite opposition, the County approved the proposal. Why should taxpayers be on the hook for protecting this property and its structures?

          2. sherlockj Avatar

            My response will be in my next post.

    2. idiocracy Avatar

      There’s a place along US15 somewhere near Leesburg where there are 5 automatic splices on a primary span between two poles. That’s a Dominion power line.

      Automatic splices are use to splice a broken primary wire together. This line has apparently broken 5 times and they’ve just spliced it together each time, without either (1) addressing the root cause of the breakages or (2) adding a longer piece of primary wire and removing the excess splices, like a non half-ass power company would.

      It’s not unheard of for automatic splices to fail.

  7. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead V

    The Great Chesapeake Hurricane of 1769 saw a huge storm surge and 13 hours of sustained high winds. The storm blew off the roof of Stratford Hall.

  8. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Captain. Could not find discussion wi with dick

    1. sherlockj Avatar

      My mistake – Steve Haner

  9. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    TMT. Yes, the sea levels have been rising since the end of the ice age. Lovely exhibit at the VMFA right now from some submerged Egyptian cities. Double the price of carbon fuels with taxes, cut their use to Paris accord target levels and below, and the sea will still rise. Whitehead is correct that a big issue is all the building where people ought to know better, but the financial protections remove the moral hazard. If Virginia does not address that as part of its response to sea level change, it will be an even less effective effort.

    Peter. I think he meant me. He didn’t want to use my name, since it is such a trigger for you….

  10. More than half of Hampton Roads’ “sea level rise” is land subsidence from excessive aquifer drawdown. [Egleston and Pope, 2013, Land Subsidence and Relative Sea Level Rise in the Southern Chesapeake Bay Region, USGS Circular 1392.]

  11. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    Speaking of Texas and Louisiana… all y’all duck now. Ya hear?

    6:30, 145 MPH, and the pressure dropping like a stone. Your chance of CAT 4 is now a chance of being a CAT 5 at landfall, Cap’n.

    1. sherlockj Avatar

      As I said, we all wish them well. We may see whether man is fooling himself thinking he can hold back the sea when it gets this angry.

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        Not that I would recommend such in the advance of foul weather, but everyone should, while young, take a small boat to sea single hand. There is no greater humbling force to put your existence in perspective than to experience the dawn, alone, with nothing in sight.

        1. sherlockj Avatar

          COVID is kicking the butts not only of school superintendents, but also college presidents. I sent the following note to a friend who is President of one of Virginia’s public universities:

          “A Navy story applies.’

          ‘In late 1944, Adm. William Halsey in command of Third Fleet was engaging the Japanese from the Philippine Sea. His Task Force 38 consisted of seven fleet carriers, six light carriers, eight battleships, 15 cruisers, and about 50 destroyers. ‘

          ‘While conducting refueling operations off the Philippines, he kept his ships on station rather than seeking shelter from the storm. This led to a severe loss of men, ships, and aircraft.’

          ‘A Court of Inquiry was convened with Admiral Chester Nimitz, CINCPAC, in attendance. The court found that though Halsey had committed an “error of judgement” in sailing the Third Fleet into the heart of the typhoon, it stopped short of unambiguously recommending sanction. Side note: any other naval officer would have been at least relieved for cause if not been referred to court martial.’

          ‘Backstory: a friendly wartime press had made the audacious Halsey a national hero back home.’

          ‘Lessons for today:
          – Sailors need to watch the weather.
          – Leaders must both set and constantly review priorities.
          – In time of trouble, it helps to have a cool nickname. With Halsey long dead, “Bull” is available. Just saying.”

          1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

            With Halsey long dead, “Bull” is available. Just saying.”

            Wait a minute… you know that can be taken two ways. But, I’m pretty sure you only meant one.

          2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

            BTW, I am familiar with that, along with many more. Dad was an old salt. He bought the 5 volume set of WWII at sea. I read it by the time I was 8. I knew who Ensign Gay was long before Hollywood thought of making Midway. The luckiest man alive on that day.

            While not a expert of naval history, I have come to the conclusion that it can be summed up as “impertinence, imputent audacity, and just plain stupidity on one quarterdeck that is often just simply outmatched by the same on another quarterdeck.”

            It started early for us. Jones had no business engaging Serapis. Twice his size with a well-disciplined crew, and yet… BTW, I believe his most famous reply to the Brit never actually occured. Debatable anyway. The press is quick to inflate.

            What was documented was his reply to the demand to identify himself, “Come closer, and I’ll tell you.” That’s in the log.

  12. I believe the Chesapeake and Potomac hurricane of 1933 also changed the geography of Maryland by opening up the ocean Inlet to the Assawoman Bay at Ocean City. Naturally I try to mention that bay any chance I get. I am sure glad that happened in 1933….it would be armageddon if it happened today.

    Good luck to the offshore wind turbines, but I did some research after Hurricane Isaias, apparently all those related tornados form over land only, due to friction of the storm winds over land masses. Hopefully the turbines themselves are friction-free.

    Before this we lived few years in Louisiana, so certainly hoping for the best down there.

  13. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    Love this statement by “our resident master of satire” (who shall never be named here in due deference to Peter’s sensibilities), as the satire’s master has here above created (and I copy in below) the perfect metaphor for the chronic, and apparently incurable, dysfunction of government in Virginia since the death of George Washington in late 18th century.

    “The state and county will not address the breach in the Winter Harbor beach because VIMS in their wisdom only allows replenishment south of the breach to protect the tiger beetles. If they would allow replenishment to the north, the natural movement of wind and wave would carry it southward toward New Point.

    With the breach open, it’s an open path to the interior lands and erosion. Before VDOT took 6 ft of sand for road building in the 40s, the area could sustain a 7 ft storm surge with minimal impact. Not any more.”

    The master’s few words cover the waterfront.

  14. sherlockj Avatar

    Lake Charles Louisiana has been devastated.

    1. sherlockj Avatar

      If you’ve ever driven along I-10 of the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain and looked south and down, way down, to New Orleans, you will absorb visually everything you need to know about the folly of two hundred years of trying to fool mother nature.

      1. The notion that building below sea level will always result in mother nature winning?

        It only took the French 85 years to find their folly.

  15. sherlockj Avatar

    I respect your opinion, TMT, but you keep going back to oceanfront landowners to make it. They are really not the beneficiaries of the statewide initiative that needs action.

    No plan can defend everything everywhere, but a proper plan will do a cost-benefit analysis, and the USACE by law does that in every plan. Their plans will protect what that cost-benefit analysis indicates can be protected with a significant return on investment.

    The Corps uses a Regional Economic System (RECONS) model, which is a program used to assess the regional, state, and national impacts of projects. It is constantly assessed and updated.

    Between 2010 and 2013, Corps of Engineers Civil Works projects reflected an average total net of $110 billion in National Economic Development benefits and $34 billion in returns to the U.S. Treasury. Each dollar invested in Civil Works generated about $16 in economic benefits and five dollars in U.S. Treasury revenues. Historically, the Civil Works budget is around $6 billion annually.

    The flood insurance phaseout for repetitive flooding properties is already in place.

    The corruption of city and county councils exists and needs to be addressed with considerable priority. One of the reasons for turning over the planning and execution of hurricane and flood control planning to USACE is because they cannot be bought.

  16. TooManyTaxes Avatar

    Why not start with basic storm water control facilities? A month or so ago, I walked down a goat trail to get below the American Legion Bridge. VDOT and MDOT drain all the water from the bridge to the north side and drain it. That and stop permitting new or redevelopment in floodplains.

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