River Talk to address flooding

Published 6:17 pm Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Hampton Roads area isn’t also called “Tidewater” for nothing. There’s water surrounding us, and lots of it.

But when it inundates us, there’s a problem. The next River Talk by the Nansemond River Preservation Alliance will address the risks and solutions to flooding in Suffolk.

“It’s an important issue,” said Elizabeth Taraski, executive director of the alliance. “We’re going to have to be proactive to individuals can perhaps change and implement best practices.”

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The program will be presented by Skip Stiles, executive director of Wetlands Watch and former legislative director of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, and Mary Carson Saunders Stiff, a Suffolk native and assistant director of Wetlands Watch and a former postgraduate fellow at the College of William and Mary Law School’s Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic.

“What we’re trying to do as with everything NRPA does is educate everyone about what the current issues are and learn about best practices and implement them,” Taraski said.

Suffolk’s waterways are the city’s most valuable assets, Taraski said. But some areas already are prone to flooding, and some will become more so as time goes on.

“Clearly, the city has always been looking at a couple of the areas,” Taraski said. “The Kimberly Bridge, for example.”

The Kimberly Bridge, located on North Main Street just north of the intersection with Constance Road, is prone to flooding during weather events involving a combination of heavy rain and higher-than-normal tides.

“There are other areas that are going to be affected by flooding,” Taraski said. “They’re prevalent throughout the city.”

The presenters will help those in attendance understand why flooding is occurring and what can be done about it, she said.

The program will take place Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m., with a social preceding it at 6:30 p.m., at the C.E.&H. Ruritan Hall, 8881 Eclipse Drive. It is free. Call 745-7447 for more information.