March 18, 2024

The Ripple Effect: Progress on the Windsor Woods Tide Gate

Construction has been ongoing for a year and will safeguard neighboring communities from flooding during severe weather.

The Ripple Effect Windsor Wood Tide Gate Construction

In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew's devastation over seven years ago, Virginia Beach still recalls the awful impacts, particularly in the Windsor Woods, Princess Anne Plaza, and The Lakes neighborhoods. Memories of these events linger to this day. However, signs of hope are emerging on the horizon as a new project aimed at fortifying the city against flooding begins to take shape.

Anyone driving past I-264 lately may have noticed the towering presence of a red crane near the skate park and Mount Trashmore. It marks the site of one of more than 40 Flood Protection Programs planned across the city.

Low elevations in the neighborhood, undersized pipes, high tides that steal storage capacity, and more frequent and stronger storms all account for flooding experienced in this area. Placing a new tide gate across Thalia Creek is an initial step in addressing these issues.

The project's centerpiece, the new Windsor Woods Tide Gate, which is now under construction, will span 60 feet across and comprises four gate openings. Its primary function? To protect storage capacity for stormwater runoff, safeguarding neighboring communities from flooding during severe weather and storm events.

Each gate measures 10 feet by 5 feet. Most days, they remain open, allowing the tide's and ecosystem's natural rhythm to continue undisturbed. But when storms loom on the horizon, they close at low tide, forming a barrier against the encroaching waters.

In addition, interim pumping mechanisms go online, lowering the lake's elevation to further increase storage capacity for stormwater runoff. This coordinated effort is designed to offer maximum protection to local neighborhoods.

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

Contact Information

Public Works Stormwater Engineering Center

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