Virginia Beach ranked as number one flood safe coastal city on East Coast

Posted at 6:42 PM, Aug 28, 2014

Virginia Beach, Va. - Virginia Beach is known to flood in spots, but according to a report by, the resort city is the number one flood safe coastal city along the U.S. East Coast, ranked more flood proof than Fort Lauderdale and Miami as well as Norfolk and Newport News who also appear on the list.

"Depending on how you develop your metrics and measures, I think we're certainly deserving of that rank," said Phill Roehrs, Water Resources Engineer for the City of Virginia Beach. tells NewsChannel 3 that they looked into several criteria to make this list, including number of floods reported by NOAA, flood insurance costs, the number of insurance claims and potential storm surge heights.

According to the report, Virginia Beach has had no recorded flood events in 10 years and has had no events of storm surge since 1880.

"If you take a look at our proactivity, if you take a look at our flood insurance claim history, I think we're deservingly ranked up high. If you take a bigger view, and take a look at some other measures like sea level rise and land subsidence, one might find it hard to believe that we're on the top of that list," said Roehrs.

While this report may come as good news for some folks in Hampton Roads, it's interesting to note that the report only looks at some data over a 10-year period, which leaves out some major flooding events that have happened in this area, including Hurricane Isabel in 2003 - a storm that caused major flooding and damage. Although flood insurance costs have not gone down for most people since Isabel, the City says it's worked with FEMA to elevate homes and cut down on costs for some homeowners.

"We have had a fairly calm period, knocking on wood, in terms of large storm activity, but we're finding in some of our inland areas - some of our lower areas - that it doesn't take that category 2 hurricane to cause a smaller problem but from the homeowners' perspective a larger problem," said Roehrs.

Those are problems the  City of Virginia Beach recognizes even though the report says it's flood safe.