Va. storm-surge wall studied along Chesapeake Bay

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Scientists are studying what would happen if a series of floodgates are built across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Virginian- Pilot ( ) reports a team led by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science are trying to find out the consequences of a potential 24-mile-long network of barriers between Virginia Beach and the southern tip of the Eastern Shore.

Institute scientist Molly Mitchell says the purpose is to mesh existing models of storm-surge flooding, water circulation and the bay’s ecosystem. The findings could then be used when future large flood-protection projects are considered.

Institute professor Jian Shen says early findings indicate the barrier would do little to ease flooding from Nor’easters moving from north to south because water would end up getting stuck behind the wall, causing flood problems.

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