According to the Federal Emergency Management Management Agency (FEMA), 70 percent of Americans surveyed do not believe their community is at risk of flooding. But Richmond has been hit by 21 hurricanes since 1952, and in June 1972, suffered unprecedented flooding caused by rainfall from Hurricane Agnes.
On June 23, 2016, several agencies joined with the City Department of Public Utilities to dedicate a high water mark sign at Pony Pasture Rapids Park. Signs will follow at Brown’s Island, Plant Zero, and Great Shiplock Park to remind local residents of Richmond’s flood risk.
This initiative was developed in partnership with the Virginia Silver Jackets, Venture Richmond, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency High Water Mark Initiative and Region III, the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Wakefield, the U.S. Geological Survey Water Science Center, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District.
Richmond is the pilot community program for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The Silver Jackets Program brings together state, federal, and local agencies to share information and apply resources to reduce flood risk.
Speaking at the sign unveiling (see video below) were Jonet Prevost-White from the Stormwater division of the city Department of Public Utilities (DPU); Robert Steidel, DPU director; John Buturla, deputy chief administrative officer for Operations; April Cummings, deputy director Mitigation Division, FEMA Region III; Lt. Col. John Drew, deputy commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District; and Curtis Brown, deputy secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Commonwealth of Virginia.
|Unveiling the signage for the high water mark|
|The Hurricane Agnes information sign|
|The actual High Water Mark is above the Call Box part of the sign and shows how deep the water was at the Pony Pasture in June 1972.|