The city is pumping down levels of Ashville Park drainage ponds. Here’s why

Portable pumps are being used until Ashville Park's flooding issues are fixed

The City of Virginia Beach will need to spend $35 million to fix the flooding and stormwater drainage issues in the Ashville Park neighborhood (Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of Google)
The City of Virginia Beach will be pumping down the water levels of drainage lakes and ditches in and around the Ashville Park neighborhood. The city will need to spend $35 million to fix the flooding and stormwater drainage issues in Ashville Park (Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of Google)

VIRGINIA BEACH — In preparation for the possibility heavy rain on Friday because of Hurricane Michael, the city began pumping water from the Ashville Park neighborhood’s drainage system on Monday.

The Ashville Park neighborhood is prone to flooding because of an inadequate stormwater drainage design.

Hurricane Michael is currently in the Gulf of Mexico, but its track and strength are still uncertain; however, one possible track could put the storm in Virginia Beach by this Friday, National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Orrock said.

According to a forecast from the NWS, the remnants of Hurricane Michael could bring up to 3 inches of rain to Virginia Beach.

Until sufficient flood control improvements have been designed and constructed for Ashville Park, Deputy City Manager Tom Leahy said public works will be “utilizing portable pumps to lower water levels in stormwater lakes prior to significant storms.”

A depiction of some of the improvements to Ashville Parks drainage system under the proposed cost participation agreement between the city and the neighborhoods developer (Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of the City of Virginia Beach)
A depiction of some of the improvements to Ashville Parks drainage system under the proposed cost participation agreement between the city and the neighborhoods developer (Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of the City of Virginia Beach)

Substantial improvements to the neighborhood’s drainage system are slated in upcoming years.

According to the city’s 2019-2024 Capital Improvement Plan, Ashville Park projects include improvements of the interconnections between the neighborhood’s 15 lakes, an expansion of some existing stormwater lakes, and construction of additional neighborhood stormwater ponds.

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The total cost of the design, site acquisition, construction, and contingencies for the improvements to Ashville Park’s drainage system total $35 million.

Those costs will be shared through a cost participation agreement between the city and HomeFed, current owner and developer of the neighborhood.

According to the city’s news release, employees of the city’s stormwater management team will monitor the surface water elevations during the Ashville Park pumping operations and any rain caused by Hurricane Michael.

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