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City looking for $60 million in federal and state floodwater funding

After achieving some funding from earlier grants, the City of Alexandria is going back to that well to try and finance more flood mitigation.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 26, the City Council is scheduled to review a request for a grant of up to $50 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and up to $10 million from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Virginia Resources Authority (VRA).

The FEMA grant aims at helping localities fund hazard mitigation projects that reduce the risks for communities facing disasters and natural hazards, which those impacted by Alexandria’s historic flooding would say the city probably qualifies for. The pre-disaster mitigation grant funds planning, design, and construction of emergency prevention projects.

The state grant, the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund Grant, is specifically aimed at providing support for floodwater mitigation projects.

How much, if any, of this funding Alexandria would receive is unknown. Governor Ralph Northam recently approved $115,200 in grant funding for Alexandria — a relatively small amount of the $7.8 million pot allocated to projects nationwide. The funding would be welcome, as city leaders recently expressed a desire to rethink waterfront flood mitigation plans after they came back with $90 million as the cost-conscious option.

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