Pulling It All Together: How the City of Norfolk is Rewriting the Floodplain Management Plan Script

Allison Bryan, PE, Water Resources Engineer, Moffatt & Nichol

Matthew Simons, AICP, CZA, CFM, Coastal Resiliency Manager, City of Norfolk

In 2012, the US Army Corps of Engineers authorized a comprehensive study completed by the City of Norfolk that resulted in the development of structural, non-structural, and nature-based measures to manage coastal storm risk in Norfolk.  In order to implement projects identified within the study, USACE requires the City to prepare a Floodplain Management Plan (FMP or FPMP) to reduce the impacts of future flood events in the project areas.  The completed FMP is to be incorporated holistically into the city-wide flood protection efforts presented as the recommended alternatives in the coastal storm risk management study.

In addition to satisfying requirements set by USACE, the City of Norfolk intended to create an FMP that follows the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) 10-step planning process. Rather than developing an overarching plan through the traditional FMP development process, the City’s FMP content was to be derived from existing plans, studies, reports, and datasets, in order to build upon and utilize the City’s already extensive flood mitigation efforts. The completed coastal storm risk management study was to be the primary document for reference and integration, with additional content incorporated from other Norfolk planning documents, including but not limited to the Hampton Roads Hazard Mitigation Plan, Preliminary Citywide Coastal Flooding Mitigation Concept Evaluation and Master Plan Development, Norfolk Vision 2100, and plaNorfolk 2030. The resulting Floodplain Management Plan looks to the future of flood risk throughout Norfolk rather than simply planning for the present.

This presentation will discuss the unique approach taken to implement the established CRS framework and pull together a wide range of resources from varying sources while satisfying USACE requirements in the creation of Norfolk’s Floodplain Management Plan. The newly-created plan will further promote resilience in flood protection and planning efforts throughout the City of Norfolk.


Author Bio

Allison Bryan: Allison’s experience includes work in the coastal and water resources disciplines, primarily involving flood control and stormwater management in challenging urban, coastal, and inland environments. Her project experience includes hydrodynamic surface water modeling, stormwater system design, and flood mitigation plan development.

Matthew Simons: Matthew manages resilience projects for Norfolk's Coastal Storm Risk Management flood protection project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has served as the City’s Principal Floodplain Planner, Floodplain Administrator, and Community Rating System (CRS) Coordinator.