West Virginia’s Leaders and Advocates Work Together to Build Flood Resilience

Collected resources highlight efforts focused on communities bearing the brunt of climate-related disasters

State-Local Collaborations Boost Flood Resilience in WV
People trudge through the mud left over from the flooding of the Elk River along State Route 119, on June 25, 2016 in Falling Rock, West Virginia.
Flood victims trudge through mud left behind after more than 10 inches of rain fell on West Virginia in June 2016. The resulting flood was among the deadliest in the state’s history, claiming 23 lives, mostly in Greenbrier County.
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Since 2010, West Virginia’s communities have endured more than 1,600 flood events. Extreme rains—driven by climate change and development that inhibits the natural landscape’s ability to absorb and channel excess water—are the leading contributors to flooding in the state. Now, stakeholders throughout West Virginia are taking action to make the state more flood resilient.

The research and analysis shared here examines those efforts, particularly how partnerships among policymakers, regional planners, flood plain managers, advocates, and communities are shaping policy and practice.