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Falls Church Begins Tackling Flood Prevention Projects

Falls Church residents may have noticed that work has started on several projects to minimize flooding damage and better manage stormwater.

City Manager Wyatt Shields gave the City Council an update on stormwater management projects at Monday (Sept. 23) night’s meeting.

Smaller ones, like drainage issues between Laura and Poplar drives and flooding issues at 913 and 915 blocks of Lincoln Avenue, will be handled in-house and paid for by the current stormwater operating budget, he said.

Residents can expect work to finish on those by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the city has reached out to GKY about five larger watersheds, including:

  • the area by W. Columbia Street and Shadow Walk
  • the Hillwood Avenue area
  • the Sherrow Avenue area
  • E. Columbia Street and Harrison Branch Tributary
  • Ellison Branch Stream near new homes on Lincoln Avenue

“Ultimately, we will get the options and get the costs and we will need to work together to prioritize our resources for where they can do the most good for the buck,” Shields said.

The timeframe will be determined during budget discussions in the winter, and work won’t begin on those larger projects until July, he said.

“People have been seeing us out in the field doing the initial walkthroughs with the engineers,” he said, adding that city staff is waiting to get a cost estimate from GKY before alerting the residents.

“It sounds like we’re making a lot of progress, I think if we can communicate better to those residents and let them know that work is happening, that would be very reassuring to people,” Councilmember Letty Hardi said.

The city has also been working to update its stormwater management plan after suffering severe damage from major flash flooding in July.

Shields also said that the wing wall on Tripps Run has been completed, eliminating a flooding risk to residents on Sherrow Avenue.

“It’s good to get that resolved,” he said.

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