March 28, 2024

The Ripple Effect: Award-Winning Flood Visualization Tool Available for Residents to See Impact of Shore Drive Project

The Flood Model Visualization and Exposure Tool was recognized for excellence and innovation in information technology.

Screenshot of Flood Model Visualization and Exposure Tool

At the heart of the City’s flood resilience strategy is the comprehensive Flood Protection Program — The Ripple Effect — a 10-year plan to address recurrent flooding in Virginia Beach. Central to this plan is the recently released Flood Model Visualization and Exposure Tool, an easy-to-use platform designed to inform residents about flood exposure risks before and after the completion of Flood Protection Program (FPP) projects. The tool is based on a citywide stormwater model and presents different flooding scenarios, currently showing model scenarios for the Eastern Shore Drive Phase 1 project. 

In just three easy steps, the platform draws the City stormwater models in less than one second and allows residents to see the extent of flood risk before the project and the reduction in that risk upon completion. Since implementation in November 2023, 6,194 users have requested to view the flood model generating 302,730 map overlay requests. 

The City uses the data as one criterion to prioritize projects to implement based on the FPP Phase 1 predictive model. 

Flood Model Visualization and Exposure Tool Wins U.S. CIO 100 Award 

On March 18, 2024, the City of Virginia Beach was named to the U.S. CIO 100, a recognition of strategic and operational excellence in information technology. The City of Virginia Beach was selected as a 2024 CIO 100 award winner for its Flood Model Visualization and Exposure Tool. The City previously won CIO 100 Awards in 2019 for VB Connect and in 2018 for StormSense. 

“The recognition of Virginia Beach’s Flood Model Visualization and Exposure Tool is a testament to our city’s commitment to resilience, innovation and transparency,” said Peter Wallace, the City’s chief information officer. “This tool leverages technology to not only empower the City to better understand and mitigate flood risks, but also to make data-driven decisions and share the data behind those decisions with residents.” 

Public Works and Jacobs Engineering designed the tool and implemented it with Esri COTS software and Professional Cloud Services by ROK Technologies. The Information Technology Department houses the tool in a cloud environment, where it can withstand peak usage and not compete with other IT infrastructure or primary GIS services. 

The Virginia Beach Flood Protection Program—The Ripple Effect—is a comprehensive 10-year plan to address recurrent flooding in Virginia Beach. In November 2021, Virginia Beach voters overwhelmingly supported a resiliency package for several key flood protection initiatives to include drainage improvements, tide gates, pump stations and flood barriers throughout the city. The projects are led by Public Works with support from a community oversight board for transparency and accountability. Learn more at

About the US CIO 100 Awards: The annual US CIO 100 Awards celebrate 100 organizations and the teams within them that use IT in innovative ways to deliver business value, whether by creating competitive advantage, optimizing business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customers. The award is an acknowledged mark of enterprise excellence.  

Contact Information

Information Technology

Contact Information

Public Works Stormwater Engineering Center

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