June 27, 2024

The Ripple Effect: Second Quarter 2024 Update on the Flood Protection Program

Flood Prevention Oversight Board provided its latest quarterly progress report to City Council June 25.

The Ripple Effect Flood Protection Program

The Flood Prevention Bond Referendum Oversight Board (FPBROB) and Jacobs Engineering delivered the quarterly status report on the Flood Protection Program to City Council on June 25. Here is a brief recap of that presentation.

FPBROB Presentation 

FPBROB Chairman Jeff Waller, P.E. noted that since the March 19 report

  1. City staff delivered a presentation on the Sea Level Wise adaptation strategy and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Coastal Storm Risk Management Study to the Flood Prevention Bond Referendum Oversight Board in April. 
  1. In May, the Oversight Board toured the Windsor Woods Tide Gate construction site, noting the considerable work and visible progress compared to what is observable when driving by the red crane on Interstate Highway-264. 
  1. City staff delivered an additional presentation to the Oversight Board in June, focused on maintaining stormwater infrastructure throughout the city. That presentation highlighted essential facts about the scope of required maintenance: 
    1. A preventative pipe flushing program keeps assets ready for their intended purpose. 
    2. A total of 1,056 miles of pipe must be maintained, equivalent to the distance between Virginia Beach and Key Largo, Florida. 
    3. The City maximizes and maintains stormwater storage capacity throughout its system, which includes 215 miles of off-road ditches and 581 lakes. 
  1. City staff released 21 videos about the Flood Protection Program to date and continue to produce this and other content to keep residents informed about the program. 

Jacobs Engineering Presentation 

Leisha Pica, P.E. of Jacobs Engineering, shared the current status of the Flood Protection Program. Updates for the second quarter of 2024 include: 

  1. An overview of project status for the Flood Protection Program, explicitly noting that: 
    1. Four projects have been completed. 
    2. Five are currently under construction. 
    3. Nine projects are in design, with half at 90% or greater design completion. 
  1. A review of the total program spending as of June 6, which is $70.6 million, and of the budget status for projects. 
  1. Jacobs also presented its Stormwater Operational Assessment recommendations to the City Council. The assessment addressed operational needs for existing assets versus what is required upon completing the Flood Protection Program projects.  

Recommendations include: 

  • Adding 19 new staff positions to operate and maintain facilities and equipment. 
  • Constructing a new Stormwater Operations Center to enhance and centralize operations. 
  • Procuring new equipment, including one closed circuit television (CCTV) truck and a new walking excavator, which will vastly improve the pace and efficiency of ditch cleaning. 

Members of the City Council thanked both presenters for their briefings. They were especially thankful to hear the detail provided in the Stormwater Operational Assessment recommendations. 

The above projects and updates contribute to two FY24-25 Focused Action Plan initiatives to "Continue to implement the Flood Prevention Bond Referendum through the ongoing execution of the Flood Protection Program" and to "Continue promoting transparency of the bond referendum projects through City Council briefings provided by Jacobs Engineering Group and facilitation of the Flood Prevention Bond Referendum Oversight Board’s monthly meetings." The priorities highlighted in the Focused Action Plan were identified by City Council members and influenced by resident feedback.

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 virginiabeach.gov/RippleEffect.

Contact Information

Public Works Stormwater Engineering Center

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