U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both D-Virginia, and Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, have asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to select the town of Pulaski for a flood control project.

In a letter to the Corps, the three lawmakers point out Pulaski’s history of flooding. They write: “Pulaski has implemented several projects within its means to reduce its flood risk. However,
while these improvements have helped, they have not eliminated the risk and the potential
impacts of flooding to the community. Given the history of flooding in Pulaski and the recent
trend of storm events of greater intensity and longer duration across the United States, future
flood events are likely to occur and have the potential to be more devastating. Identifying the
potential flood risk and planning to manage that risk are the first steps to implementing a solution to increase resiliency and decrease the devastating effects of flooding. The Town is seeking new ways to address its flood risk and the impacts of floods on the community, and a [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] Project would help implement flood risk management strategies to address the ongoing flooding in the community.”

Meanwhile, Warner and Kaine also sent a letter to the Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Adminstration asking that a federal program designed to increase vaccinations about miners be expanded to include Southwest Virginia. In January, the department announced a aMiner Vaccine Outreach Program to deliver free vaccinations and provide educational outreach to mining communities in Kentucky and Arizona.

In their letter, the senators pointed out that Virginia’s coal counties also have low vaccination rates: “Virginia’s counties vary widely in terms of vaccinations rates, and mining
communities in Southwest Virginia are quite similar to the neighboring counties in Kentucky
that the Miner Vaccine Outreach Program is serving. In Virginia, mining communities are
centered in Dickenson, Buchanan, Wise, Tazewell, Lee, and Russell counties, where the adult
population has a fully-vaccinated rate of less than 57%. It is clear that these communities are in
critical need of targeted outreach to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates.”

Lee and Wise — along with the coalfield city of Norton — currently have some of the highest covid infection rates in Virginia. See those statistics here.