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Potomac River could rise by two feet on Alexandria waterfront by 2050

Heidi DeuPree and Keith Harmon canoeing down Union Street in Old Town, Friday, October 29, 2021. (staff photo by James Cullum)

If you think it floods a lot in Old Town now, just wait until 2050.

During a City Council meeting earlier this week, Matthew Landes, division chief for project implementation, said current projections estimate a two-foot increase in sea elevation, meaning the city will need to install some type of flood mitigation if it wants to keep Old Town from being consistently underwater.

Landes presented the City Council with flood mitigation plans complete with a bulkhead along the river and pumping stations.

The plan is somewhat scaled down from earlier plans$100 million doesn’t go quite as far as it used to.

“The budget allocated, $100 million, was determined not to be enough to develop all of the goals of the original plan,” Landes said.

Without any changes, however, Landes said flooding in Old Town will get more frequent.

“Impacts will become more severe with increasing frequency and intensity,” Landes said. “By 2050 we anticipate, at a moderate climate change projection, about a two-foot rise in sea level elevation so our lowest-lying areas will be more frequently affected.”

Terry Suehr, director of the Department of Project Implementation, said the “bathtub” shape of the waterfront necessitates the inclusion of pumping stations.

“I know a lot of people, including myself, wish we didn’t have to use pumps,” Suehr said. “Unfortunately, more and more communities are realizing that for stormwater management we are going to have to use pumps. We have a very low-lying area. The waterfront area is all fill, it’s lower than the natural surrounding area, so it creates a bit of a bathtub there. The only way we we can get it out of the bathtub is to pump.”

Waterfront flood mitigation cost-based option 1 (photo via City of Alexandria)

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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).

ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.

This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.

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If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!

In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!

We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.

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Family Fun Fall Fest

Mark your calendars and join us for the Family Fun Fall Fest on Saturday, October 7, 2023, from 11am – 2pm!

This FREE in-person event will be held at the Shoppes at Foxchase, located at 4641 Duke St, Alexandria, VA

2023 Alexandria Fall Festival

Food trucks, bounce houses, pony rides, magic shows and more at the 2023 Alexandria Fall Festival, an Alexandria Living event presented by The Patterson Group. Join us at River Farm on Sunday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.


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