Portsmouth residents to demand urgent action on city flood plan

Petition calls for immediate remedy to absence of storm drains in city adjacent to Elizabeth River

Who: Portsmouth residents, New Virginia Majority organizers

What: Press conference on urgent need for responsible flood plan followed by Portsmouth City Council Meeting

When: 6:30 press conference, 7 p.m. council meeting, Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Where: Portsmouth City Hall, 801 Crawford Parkway, Portsmouth, VA 23704

At 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27, Portsmouth residents will gather on the front steps of the Portsmouth City Hall Building in advance of the Portsmouth City Council meeting, to announce their ongoing campaign to address the dangerous lack of storm drains in the community, adjacent to the Elizabeth River.

Four years ago, the city of Portsmouth contracted a construction company to make the sidewalks wheelchair accessible, but failed to include in its contract a provision to retain critical storm drains.“The absence of storm drains poses an immediate threat to the wellbeing of the Portsmouth community,” said June Cross, a Portsmouth resident and volunteer environmental organizer with New Virginia Majority.“When we have nor'easter storms or rains, it wreaks havoc on the community. We need the city government to act now.”

The event will also draw attention to the neglected state of existing storm drains - many are clogged and full of trash which has led to dangerous flooding in Portsmouth.

As part of the campaign, a petition to the Portsmouth city council was created by residents that reads, “All Portsmouth residents have the right to a flood free community. Being that this area is second to New Orleans in the “rising of sea levels” we are demanding a Comprehensive Flood Plan that includes all neighborhoods and residents. The Portsmouth Comprehensive Flood Plan does not adequately provide in full for the safety and welfare of our community. We can no longer sit here in silence and watch our communities become uninhabitable and our friends and neighbors perish in flood waters.”Click here to RSVP to the City Council event on Tuesday.

Contact: Linda Artise, Environmental Organizer, 757-449- 0457, lartise@newvirginiamajority.org

Jasmine Leeward, (804) 250-6514, jleeward@newvirginiamajority.org

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New Virginia Majority organizes for progressive transformation of Virginia through mass organizing of communities of color, women, working people, LGBT people, youth and progressive people to create a Virginia that is democratic, just and sustainable.

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