Tournament pits teams against each other to fight flooding


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A new take on fighting flood risks took the form of a tournament in Hampton.

The Virginia Silver Jackets hosted the Lower Virginia Peninsula Coastal Resilience Tournament and brought together teams from different agencies and localities to plan responses to flood hazards.

“You don’t plan for your hazard until the next hazard is already here,” said Andrea Carsons, who works for the Pittsburg District’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

This is just the fourth pilot program they’ve held nationally, according to Carson, and the first time focusing on coastal resilience.

Teams were given scenarios with flooded neighborhoods and had to develop investments that would reduce the greatest amount of risks while managing citizen response and local budgets.

“There’s always a demand for local budgets and federal budgets. We’re a little more reactive but we should mitigate before a storm. If you invest one dollar to mitigation before a storm, you get $6 in benefits,” said Michelle Hamor, who is the chief of the US Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District’s flood plain management section.

While winners will not get a real prize, they’ll get bragging rights and leave with new relationships that will be useful for future events.

Organizers hope the tournament will encourage other events to be held in the future.

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