VIRGINIA BEACH — City leaders are showing the public new ideas to tackle flooding and the rising sea level.
Stormwater engineers have multiple plans for different areas of concerns. All of the plans throughout the city are designed to handle up to three feet of sea level rise.
Public Works Stormwater Engineer C.J Bodnar said crews want to install sector gates at Rudee Inlet and at the Lesner Bridge. He said if too much water comes in, the gates can close at any time.
Bodnar said the goal is to reduce flooding upstream of the Lynnhaven River. If the gates were installed, Bodnar said areas like Windsor Woods, Princess Anne Plaza, and Towne Center would be protected from flooding or sea level rise.
At the boardwalk, crews want to expand the sea wall. It’s designed to handle the pressure. They also want to add gates where people want to the beach. Leaders say if there’s a storm they could close the gates and protect Oceanfront homes and properties.
For the south side of the city, leaders want to raise West Neck Creek, Sandbridge, and Muddy Creek Roads. The plan would include adding a gate system as well as a pump station, so the water could properly flow.
Wherever each gate is located, Bodnar said there would also be a gatehouse and pump station.
People who live in flood-prone areas said they want the city to look for more of a natural approach instead of using large equipment to try and solve the issues.
“They are hard engineering solutions and they are going to cost a lot of money. There’s going to be upkeep with those and there will always be money that will be needed and pumped into the projects,” explained Melani Moreno.
City leaders said the plans are not final. If everything is approved, it could take more than a decade to be completed!
City leaders are holding several public meetings to get your opinion
- May 29 – Virginia Aquarium
- May 30 – Kempsville High School
- June 3 – Kellam High School
- June 5 – Princess Anne High School
- June 6 – Creeds Elementary School
Each meeting is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.