Sewer Department planning for rising seas and storms

Since its inception, the Sea Level Rise Committee has been educating itself on the challenges to the island that will inevitably come as the oceans rise. While at first the group made its own assessments of vulnerable areas on theisland, they quickly determined that educating themselves on various issues was paramount. To that end, they have invited a host of experts and stakeholders to speak at their meetings.“We can’t just go with our gut instincts,” said Chair Judy Gray. “We need to do a hard reality check.” Part of that is realizing, with budget time coming up, that the SLR Committee doesn’t really have a budget of its own, and so its strength will be in lending its support to others, or in applying for grant money.On Tuesday, December 6 at their latest meeting, the group found something to support. They had invited Dylan Chase, superintendent of the Sewer Department to update on them on what, if anything, were the challenges to the sewer system.“Part of my job is to assess vulnerabilities in the collections system,” said Chase. Those vulnerabilities are not necessarily what Chase calls the “fixed assets” so much as the impact of storms. Chase, who

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