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The city of Staunton is conducting a preliminary stormwater assessment

Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 5:32 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — The City of Staunton is conducting a preliminary stormwater assessment to make improvements to the city’s stormwater system.

“The city’s constantly evaluating, maintaining and looking at future upgrades to our stormwater system,” John Glover, a building official and flood plain administrator for the city, said.

After a big storm hit Staunton back in 2003, the city says it did make some improvements to the system to mitigate flooding.

“At the intersection of Johnson Street and Central Avenue we actually up-sized some of the drop inlets and some other storm sewer improvements down there to remove that water from the Wharf area,” Glover said

But the most recent flooding events that hit Staunton proved to be too much for the city’s current system to handle.

“The stormwater system it’s really designed for a lot less storm than what we had. These storms were unique,” Glover said. “What we had in place, it just didn’t seem adequate even though we constantly maintain them. It was just a lot of water.”

Now, the city is taking a closer look at the current stormwater system to make improvements, allowing it to handle more water.

In this preliminary phase, Glover said there are many ideas and strategies being tossed around.

“One is to move the water along, which is a conveyance. And the other is to prevent the water from getting into other areas, which is more like a levy, a berm, a shield,” Glover said.

The assessment will be focusing on downtown, but it will also look beyond that area.

“You have to start where the watershed begins, so a lot of that we are looking at the outer perimeter of the city where the water comes from, you know, the drainage basin that feeds into the downtown,” Glover said.

He said there will always be some water that comes into downtown, so they will also be looking at what to do with that water so it doesn’t cause any damage.

“It’s not going to be overnight. We all wish it could be. These events are tragic, and we wish it could move faster, but there’s a process it has to go through,” Glover said.

He said the city also faces the challenge of having enough money to pay for the $4.2 million improvement projects that are already part of the Capital Improvement Plan.

“Revenues are much lower than that, so we can’t fund all of those at one time, so that’s why we have to prioritize,” Glover said.

In the meantime, the city is providing information on how the community can stay prepared for when storms hit the area.

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