From tropical storms and even fast-melting snow, downtown Waynesboro has flooded repeatedly. Now the city is mounting a new effort to make the business district more resistant to floods, but they need help.
Waynesboro wants to hear from business and property owners about how much money they have lost due to high waters and how much they have spent cleaning up after them. Waynesboro has invited business and property owners to meet at 6:00 Wednesday night in City Hall. It is a first step toward seeking a federal grant for floodproofing projects.
Flood waters covered downtown Waynesboro twice in 1996 and again in 2003. City planners hope to prevent damage from the next storm by floodproofing individual buildings, or creating a levee along the South River.
Waynesboro says now may be the right time, since it is already in the early stages of three major redevelopment projects.
Waynesboro City Planner Michael Barnes stated, "We may find from the study that there is no workable solution - that may be something we have to work from as a city as we seek to revitalize downtown. If there's a solution, and if we're doing all these other projects, we should try to find a way to get those projects to help us."
Waynesboro's flooding has been the subject of other studies over the years. Barnes says he wants to take the "best lessons" from those, and take advantage of better technology for floodproofing projects in the near future.
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