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Editor’s note: The March 26 meeting was rescheduled after the publication of this story.

A public meeting will be held on March 26 at the Washington County Ag Center so residents can give their insight on the area’s flooding vulnerability and related matters.

The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. The Ag Center is at 1424 Jackson Ave. in Chipley.

The forum is in conjunction with Washington County conducting a comprehensive inland flooding vulnerability assessment.

“The progress of the vulnerability assessment will be presented along with preliminary results of flood modeling,” a meeting notice said. “Refreshments will be provided.”

The meeting will be one of at least two public outreach meetings.

“The purpose of the firs meeting is to allow the public to provide input during the initial data collection stages, to include input on preferred methodologies, data for analyzing potential sea level rise impacts and,/or flooding, guiding factors to consider, and critical assets important to the community,” a work plan said. “The (County) will prepare all social media notifications, meeting invitations, meeting materials, presentations, and graphics utilized during the meeting, as applicable.”

Topographic and flood-scenario related data will be conducted by the County for the assessment.

The County “will perform an exposure analysis to identify the depth of water caused by each sea Ievel rise, storm surge, and/or flood scenario.”

“The water surface depths (i.e. flood scenarios) used to evaluate assets shall include the following data: tidal flooding, current and future storm surge flooding, rainfall-induced flooding, and compound flooding. all as applicable, as well as the scenarios and standards used for the exposure analysis shall be pursuant to (state statute),” the work plan said.

In related news, the County is asking for an advance payment of $490,681 from the Department of Environmental Protection for a grant related to the assessment. 

“The advance payment is in the best interest of the State for Washington County to conduct the assessment efficiently and within the timeframe of the gant agreement,” the request said.

Washington County is considered a financially disadvantaged small community under state statute since it has both a population of 50,000 or fewer and a per capita annual income less than the state’s per capita annual income.

The Department entered into a grant agreement with the County in October 2023.