West Virginia Flood Symposium Yields Important Next Steps

Pew analysis of two-day event should inform statewide resilience planning

Pew Offers Recommendations After WV Flood Symposium

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ flood-prepared communities project released a synopsis on Sept. 11, 2022, of the two-day West Virginia Flood Symposium, which took place in Charleston, West Virginia, in the aftermath of devastating flooding in the state in early May 2022. In a memo to State Resiliency Officer Robert Martin and Deputy State Resiliency Officer Edwin Martin, Pew outlined input collected during the May 18-19 symposium and recommended next steps to reduce risk and make the state’s communities more resilient to flooding.

The symposium—which featured more than 80 federal, state, and local flood experts as well as representatives from Pew, West Virginia’s State Resiliency Office, and the national disaster recovery and resilience nonprofit SBP—was designed to analyze the root causes of flooding and brainstorm potential solutions for inclusion in a new statewide flood protection plan. Recommendations included buying out homes in flood-prone areas and restoring natural streams and rivers to prevent the buildup of excess water.

This May 6, 2022, flood in Enslow Park, a community in Huntington, West Virginia, made roads impassable and damaged vehicles and homes. Some residents had to be rescued from the rising water.
This May 6, 2022, flood in Enslow Park, a community in Huntington, West Virginia, made roads impassable and damaged vehicles and homes. Some residents had to be rescued from the rising water.
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6 Steps to a More Flood-Resilient West Virginia

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Flooding is an ongoing challenge in West Virginia, where the topography—steep hillsides and mountains creased with rivers, streams, and narrow valleys—often sends floodwaters rushing through communities.

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