Study may find ways to combat flooding

Published 6:46 pm Friday, September 12, 2008

FRANKLIN—Solutions to flooding in the Chowan River Basin may still be a long way away, but some important clues to the cause of that flooding could be just around the corner.

Franklin, Southampton County, Isle of Wight County and other Virginia localities within the basin this week sent $45,000 to the Army Corps of Engineers to fund half of a $90,000 study that will determine where best to put gauges to monitor stream flow, rainfall and water quality on the Blackwater, Nottoway and Meherrin rivers. The Corps of Engineers is funding the other half.

“The Corps already had their allocation and were waiting on us,” Franklin Mayor Jim Councill said Wednesday. “I’m just pleased that we were finally able to get everyone on board. Corps officials are very excited. They want to go ahead and get the study started.”

The study is a “precursor,” Councill said, to a more comprehensive, half-million-dollar study that Congress has authorized but not funded.

Councill said U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., will lead the push for funding in Congress’ next budget cycle.

The larger study would result in recommendations for solutions to flooding that swamped downtown Franklin in 1999 and 2006.

Other localities contributing to the study are Sussex, Surry and Greensville counties and the city of Emporia.