VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Bow Creek Golf Course is being eyed as a key asset in the city’s ongoing flooding fight.
Wednesday night at a meeting about the Windsor Woods Drainage Imporvement project, engineers from the city and private engineering firm Michael Baker made the announcement they are proposing the conversion of the golf course into a place that holds additional stormwater ponds.
“We are looking to add 400 acre feet of stormwater storage in that area,” said Clarence Warnstaff, with Michael Baker. “That would not work with a golf course, but would still allow for public use of some sort.”
The idea is that additional pond storage for rainwater would help further alieviate flooding in the Windsor Woods section of the city.
“We are going to ask for the city council to fund the golf course conversion in the upcoming budget,” said Michael Bumbaco, a City of Virginia Beach Stormwater Project Manager. “However that is only one of many options we are looking at.”
Since 2013, the city has looked to make improvements to the area’s stormwater infrastructure. However calls grew to a roar following the flooding from Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
“When Matthew hit, I saw houses flood on our street that I never seen happen like that before,” said Rick Schwartz, who lives in Windsor Woods with his wife Amy.
“I’ve never seen water that high,” said Amy Schwartz. “The lake looked like an ocean.”
Aproximently 800 homes reported damage as a result of Matthew, according to Warnstaff. Last February, FEMA granted the city nearly $5.3 million to help mitigate problems in the Windsor Woods neighborhood.
“It’s going to take us about 10 to 15 years to build it,” said Michael Mundy, the Stormwater Engineering Program Manager for the City of Virginia Beach. “We have to stop the tides from coming in. We have to collect the water and then we have to pump it out.”
To do this, nearly $129 million is expected to be spent on designing and installing 3 new tide gates, 2 new pump stations, several retention ponds and miles of larger drainage pipe.
A $3.3 million project that will hope to reduce the flooding that occurs on Rosemont Road between Club House Road and Country Club Circle is expected to be completed by April 2021.