- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A bill that would create a new cabinet-level position to address coastal flooding issues in Virginia has cleared an early hurdle.

The measure from Sen. Lynwood Lewis, a Democrat, would create the position of Secretary for Coastal Protection and Flooding Adaptation.

Lewis said Thursday that Hampton Roads is the second-largest population center threatened by sea level rise and the state needs a “one-stop shop” to consolidate efforts to deal with flood prevention.

The committee advanced the bill to a finance committee.

Republican Del. Chris Stolle has introduced a similar measure in the House of Delegates.

In October, Hurricane Matthew caused $500 million in damage to the Hampton Roads region. More than 5,000 residents have applied for $8.6 million in federal aid.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, https://pilotonline.com

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