Beautiful aerial view of the ocean bay at Ponce Inlet, Florida, USA

FL - Coalition looks at strategies for Ponce Inlet flooding

Citing staggering projections for sea level rise, an increase of stronger hurricanes and heavier rainfall events in the future, representatives from the American Flood Coalition and the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council discussed disaster preparedness with Ponce Inlet Town Council members, residents and dignitaries during a special meeting March 10.

Before a packed room, including U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-FL and Volusia County Councilwoman Billie Wheeler, representatives for both organizations spoke about one major goal: advocating national viable solutions to flooding and sea level rise.

Speakers discussed three drivers of flooding that affect Florida: a near 5-inch rise in the sea level since 2000, and a projected additional 10-inch rise by 2040; increasingly heavy rainfall events, which may combine with sea level rise and storm surge; and a projected likelihood of stronger category 4 and 5 hurricanes occurring.

Tara McCue, director of community development and planning with the ECFRPC, encouraged getting on board with the organization’s Resilience Collaborative, a program that assists area cities, towns and counties in developing a structured framework designed to adapt to and recover from today’s environmental, social and economic challenges.

The collaborative, spawned in 2018 from the 2017 East Central Florida Resiliency Action Plan, is a growing partnership that now includes 30 entities within local governments and agencies throughout a region in Florida that includes eight counties and 78 cities, including Ormond Beach.

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