VIRGINIA

High waters creep up on Old Town Alexandria

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Alexandria is known for its scenic water views, but that proximity to water could become a downside.

The approach of high tide with a tidal surge make for a threat to the economic welfare of Old Towne. “You want to come out and enjoy it and not be scared looking around,” said tourist Whitney Smith.

The overflow from the Potomac River is taking away street and business space more often. “It does have a negative impact on our business,” said Bob Lorenson.

Old Towne business owner Lorenson and others believe Alexandria is actually sinking. “My building is slowing sinking on the riverside. It's readly 14 inches lower than the street side,” Lorenson said.

The city is in the midst of deciding on a master plan for the waterfront. While there is controversy about how the Alexandria area should be developed, few dispute that something needs to be done to keep the river away from the roads and businesses to preserve the historic value of buildings.

“We've been planning for this all along. It really reinforced what we are planning to do any way,” said Faroll Hamer, planning and zoning director in Alexandria.

“It's a problem they have to deal with and it will make it better. People will want to be here more,” Maryland resident Glenn Snyder hopes.

“However they do it they definitely need to do it quickly,” said Maryland resident Shannon Snyder. “You would expect flooding like this on day where there's been rain or something …but not a beautiful day like today.”

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