City council briefed on possible fix for Ashville Park’s flooding

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A fix to the stormwater management system for one of the communities hit hardest by Hurricane Matthew could be coming soon. Virginia Beach city council was briefed on results from a study of the Ashville Park neighborhood and are taking notice of how a new development could help fix flooding.

The water is gone now, but the mark of where it rose in homes remains. Sheila Bobrowitz remembers when she came home to discover Hurricane Matthew flooded her neighborhood. She said she started crying before she even went into her home.

"It was really quite shocking cause you couldn't get in, couldn't get out. We were lucky it didn't actually enter into the main part of the house, but it entered into the garage," said Bobrowitz.

Many weren't so lucky. City council was briefed on study findings saying ditches and channels receiving Ashville Park's stormwater aren't big enough. Pipes and lakes are inadequate and even if there was enough room in the lake for more water, the pipe system isn't big enough to prevent flooding.

There are four alternatives to fix the neighborhood. Alternative D, which costs $21.2 million is said to be the most resilient to future water levels because of a pump station.

Alternative B costs $23.5 million and can be built in phases. Its initial phases, called scenario 5, can be implemented faster than the initial phases of Alternative D.

A new development called Pungo Ridge hasn't been formally proposed yet, but according to the city manager, it has potential to alleviate flooding in Ashville Park. Pungo Ridge would be nestled on Princess Anne Road near Ashville Park's entrance.

Initial plans show stormwater would flow west to West Neck Creek to avoid sending more water to Ashville Park's system. Then, Ashville Park's stormwater could be diverted to West Neck Creek, but this would require a pump station.

Bobrowitz doesn't mind growth in the area, as Pungo Ridge would bring new homes, shops and a small farm. However, she wants a fix to come soon.

Click here to read the Ashville Park Stormwater Update.