Virginia Beach to ponder planting trees to prevent flooding

VIRGINIA BEACH — City Councilwoman Barbara Henley is leading an effort to examine how forests could help prevent flooding and where those trees would provide the most benefits.

It’s an idea Henley hopes will control flooding on southern side of the city.

The study will identify which existing forests are integral to prevent flooding and where strategic reforestation would provide the most benefits. City leaders say more foliage won’t eliminate the issue, but it could be part of the solution.

Last summer, southern Virginia Beach faced two major flooding events, which longtime residents said was the worst they’d ever seen. Prior to City Council elections, flooding was the major issue.

Virginia Tech’s Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation will conduct the analysis.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.