Virginia Beach Named #1 Flood Safe City

In case you didn’t know.

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About our area:

Neighborhoods such as Bay Island, Lynnhaven Colony, Ocean Park and a few others are directly adjacent to tidal waters. Streets and developed land in these neighborhoods are sometimes so low lying that during higher tides, there is no practical way to stop that tide from encroaching on those properties.

At the direction of City Council, Public Works has initiated a sea level rise study to identify all the vulnerable areas in the city and then determine what type of adaptation strategies could be employed to reduce those impacts.

How Virginia Beach was scored includes:

Virginia Beach scores very well based on those criteria. However, this ranking didn’t account for sea level rise. Coastal Virginia has land subsidence issues— just a fraction of an inch each year — but our relative sea level rise is greater than what it might be in other parts of the country because of it.
Sea level rise and coastal protection:
“Sea level rise has been happening since we started recording the sea surface elevation,” says Roehrs. “In fact, since Jamestown was settled, sea level has risen almost two feet, but it is a very slow process, and people generally adapt.”


What can you can do to help reduce flood risk?
1.To help the stormwater drainage system work well, there are a few things individual citizens can do. First, keep leaf debris and grass clippings from entering the system — rake and bag yard waste and keep the gutter clean. Sweep sediments up and add them to your garden; don’t let them wash down the drain and create clogs.

2.During periods of heavy rainfall, large impermeable surfaces generate large amounts of runoff. This sudden influx of runoff can cause flash flooding. Consider reducing non-permeable surfaces such as asphalt and concrete on your property. Instead, use materials that allow water to enter the soil such as mulch, gravel or permeable pavers.

Reduce storm water for the Lynnhaven oysters too.

Reduce storm water heading into the Lynnhaven for the Lynnhaven oysters too.

One thought on “Virginia Beach Named #1 Flood Safe City

  1. I find it ironic that Virginia Beach would be named a “Flood Safe” city when our City Council only voted to have base elevations for new home constructions to be at 2 feet above the 100 year flood plain, while Norfolk voted to use 3 feet. Difference? Many flood experts believe that due to sea-level rise, the 100 year flood plain (1% chance per year of your house being flooded if at or below that base elevation/ approximately 7 feet in VB) may now be a 1 in 26 year occurrence, or about 4 times more often. We will pay for this “Builder-Developer Friendly” elevation with increased National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) premiums, which will go into effect 2016. Building “to code” will not be enough for FEMA which administers the NFIP. Why should FEMA offer to subsidize rates (make cheap) for a home that may flood every 26 years?


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