November 28, 2023

The Ripple Effect: Three Easy Steps to Understanding Flood Risks

The new flood visualization tool dynamically demonstrates reductions in flood exposure upon completion of designed FPP projects.

Screenshot of Flood Model Visualization and Exposure Tool

The consequences of flooding can be devastating, impacting both lives and livelihoods. As such, ensuring that we have robust flood protection measures in place is essential. However, understanding the risks can feel complex. That's why we’re thrilled to introduce the Flood Model Visualization & Exposure Tool, a user-friendly platform that simplifies the process. It paints a crystal clear picture of flood exposure risks addressed by The Ripple Effect, the City’s Flood Protection Program.

Easy As 1-2-3

The Flood Model Visualization & Exposure Tool is designed to be accessible to all. It requires just three simple steps:

  • Step 1: Review Instructions and Accept Terms
    Before starting, take a moment to read through the instructions and accept the terms and conditions. This ensures that you have a clear understanding of how to use the tool, its capabilities, and its purpose.
  • Step 2: Select Scenarios
    Next, select the flood scenarios you want to explore. You can choose from different types of events, rainfall levels, and surge heights. The tool also enables you to select a specific project area of interest, such as Eastern Shore Drive Phase I.
  • Step 3: View Model Result
    After making your selections, click on the "View Model Result" button. If you selected a project area as a scenario, the tool will display a visual representation of the expected reduction in flood risk for the chosen project. This representation will help you understand the benefits of the ongoing Flood Protection Program efforts.

Key Features

The Flood Model Visualization & Exposure Tool offers several features that make it a valuable resource for those seeking to understand flood risks:

  • Comprehensive Flood Exposure: The tool provides a comprehensive view of flood exposure city-wide or in designated project areas, helping you understand potential threats.
  • Detailed Facility Impact: By analyzing the data on the tool's right side, you can see how many and the type of facilities that may be affected by floods.
  • Scenario Comparison: The tool enables you to compare the risk of flood exposure before and after the completion of flood protection projects. By clicking on "Compare Scenarios" and opting to view model results you’ll get a side-by-side look at the current severity of flood exposure risks and the reduction in that risk upon completion of projects in that area.

Future Updates

Currently, the Flood Model Visualization & Exposure Tool only covers the Eastern Shore Drive Phase I project. However, the City is committed to extending the tool's coverage, with additional project areas to be added as project designs are completed. The next update will be available in a few months. Check for updates at

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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