The City of Falls Church announced Tuesday that it has organized a public forum for Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Council chambers of City Hall for a “July 8 Flood, Impact, Recovery and Response” forum. Citizens are invited to attend as City staff and elected officials review the impact of the flash flood last month that dumped 3.5 inches in the course of an hour the morning of July 8, and to hear and share information about steps that can be taken to mitigate the impact of such weather events in the future.
F.C. City Manager Wyatt Shields, in an interview with the News-Press Wednesday, said the City is working with neighboring Arlington and Fairfax counties to assess the damage to private property from the storm with an aim of eliciting help from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management that could lead to the availability of zero-interest loans from the Small Business Administration to help individuals with their recovery. “Everyone agrees that these kinds of storms are becoming more common than they used to be, and we need as a community to become more resilient,” Shields said. “We also need to better identify areas where more damage is being done than before and see how we can help to mitigate those effects.”
He said there is no evidence that any of the City’s storm water drains and pipes were obstructed during the storm. It was simply a case of so much rain in such a short period that Tripps Run and Four Mile Run, the two streams that run through the City, became overwhelmed and out of their banks and water in the pipes and drains feeding into those streams had nowhere to go during that time.
Shields said he hopes that community members will share stories of the flood with an eye to suggesting mitigating measures to their neighbors in the future.