Huntington levee project to begin

WASHINGTON – Every time a major storm hits our region, people in Huntington prepare for the worst – they’ve been battered by flooding for years. They’re finally getting closer to becoming flood-proof, but it’s still years off.

Beginning after July 1, the first phase of developing the Huntington levee was schedule to get underway.

Fairfax County awarded the Phase 1 design contract to ARCADIS. Earlier this month, the county says, survey crews will begin collecting data, studying the site and developing the basic design of the levee.

That’s good news for the residents of Huntington, especially after Tropical Storm Lee hit in September 2011. It was the second big flood to hit the area in five years, and the neighborhood was devastated.

Just before last November’s elections, Superstorm Sandy forced Huntington residents to seek higher ground. Days later at the polls, Fairfax voters overwhelmingly approved $30-million bond to build a levee and pumping station.

But the project is complex. The county says the design phase alone can take three to five years, with the construction taking two more.

The 2,800-foot levee will help protect homes and property in the Huntington neighborhood, while the pumping station will put the water back into Cameron Run.

For now, though, residents play the waiting game, holding their collective breath every time a bad storm threatens to unleash the floodwaters.

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