Hampton’s Ashley Montgomery Works to Manage Flooding through Virginia Sea Grant and CCDC

Hampton University architecture graduate student, Ashley Montgomery, is helping to reduce and manage flooding in individual neighborhoods within Hampton Roads. Through the Sea Level Rise Program at Hampton University and through the Virginia Sea Grant, Montgomery uses basic principles of architecture and many out-of-the-box ways to help neighborhoods prepare for and manage flooding.

“Flooding has been an on-going concern here in Hampton Roads for quite some time,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey. “Though it may not be 100% preventable, it makes us here at Hampton University extremely proud to see one of our students doing what it takes to inform others of ways to manage this issue.”

Montgomery is also one of the leaders of the Coastal Community Design Collaborative (CCDC), a group of student architects, engineers, and marine biologists that develops innovative designs to help Hampton Roads neighborhoods deal with flooding. The CCDC has designed a variety of options to address recurrent flooding, such as installing a wetlands area near a creek bed that floods and planning greenways to break up long stretches of concrete to absorb water.

“We generate different innovations to develop water storage within each and every block of neighborhoods. We develop inventions that handle water storage in the road as well,” said Ashley Montgomery, graduate architecture student at Hampton University. “I’ve taken a more hands-on approach to the program and in doing so have helped build the program up. We want to solidify CCDC as an educational source where we can come out to your community and address some issues for you and see what we can do.”

“We worked with engineers to complete all of the designs with materials, a cost analysis, and seeing if it was practical with the land available,” says Jonathan Rogers, a 2018 graduate of Hampton University who participated in the collaborative while studying marine and environmental science. “We have a very full, drawn-out design that can be implemented if we have funding. We used it as a type of centerpiece for the community, where everybody can come together.”

The CCDC group meets once a week throughout the year to brainstorm ideas and flesh out different designs and strategies. Though each project is different, each neighborhood has its own unique feature to consider.