Portsmouth residents launch petition demanding action on city flood plan

(Photo: New Virginia Majority/Facebook)
(Photo: New Virginia Majority/Facebook)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Residents will go before Portsmouth City Council to demand action on the city’s flood plan.

Neighbors with the New Virginia Majority are planning to gather on the front steps of Portsmouth City Hall at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27, ahead of the city council meeting. There, they will announce their ongoing campaign to “address the dangerous lack of storm drains in the community,” a news release from organizers say.

Event organizers say the City of Portsmouth contracted a construction company in 2012 to make sidewalks wheelchair accessible, but failed to include in the contract a provision to retain storm drains.

“The absence of storm drains poses an immediate threat to the well-being of the Portsmouth community,” said June Cross, a Portsmouth resident and volunteer environmental organizer with New Virginia Majority. “When we have nor’easter storms or rains, it wreaks havoc on the community. We need the city government to act now.”

The group also says many existing storm drains are clogged and full of trash, leading to flooding throughout the city.

A petition was created by residents as part of the campaign. It says that those who live in Portsmouth “have the right to a flood-free community.

“Being that this area is second to New Orleans in the ‘rising of sea levels,’ we are demanding a comprehensive flood plan that includes all neighborhoods and residents,” the petition goes on to say.

Click here to RSVP to the city council event on Tuesday.

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