Virginia Beach looks for long-term Shore Drive flooding fixes

Posted at 5:47 PM, Apr 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-29 21:55:53-04

Virginia Beach, Va. (WTKR) - The City of Virginia Beach is looking at ways to improve chronic flooding issues along a section of Shore Drive.

The area between the Lesner Bridge and First Landing State Park, labeled as Eastern Shore Drive, has consistent issues with flooding during storm events.

The Beach City Council was set to receive a presentation and briefing on "Eastern Shore Drive Drainage Improvements" Tuesday afternoon.

Part of the problem is the area was developed without a Comprehensive Storm Water Drainage System.

Mother nature has also played a role, with an estimated sea level rise of roughly 1 foot over the past 50 years and an anticipated rise of 1.5 feet - 3 feet over the next 50 years.

The City cites the VIMS Recurrent Flooding Study for Tidewater Virginia from January 2013 for those figures.

That sea level rise, coupled with increasing frequency of coastal storms, is contributing to the increasing flooding problems along Shore Drive.

"It's very frustrating - because you know if you have to go to work, like I said unless you're in an SUV, you're kind of trapped in here because there is no other street out to Shore Drive," resident Betty Munden told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo.

In September 2013, the Beach City Council approved spending $1.5 million on interim solutions to the flooding problems.

In January, 5 check valves were installed in Lynnhaven Colony.

Later this year, 3 sluice gates are set to be constructed along the Cape Henry Ditch.

According to city documents, those improvements should reduce flood frequency for 40 homes, 48 garages and 7,450 feet of roadway.

Now the attention is shifting towards long-term solutions, which could include elevating roadways, a sea wall, improved drainage ditches and new storm water pump stations.