Rockingham County getting closer to completing Lake Shenandoah drainage basin

Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 5:14 PM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Rockingham County is getting closer to completing a major stormwater project in the Lake Shenandoah area. Over the summer the county used grant funding to begin constructing a large drainage basin on 6.5 acres off of Taylor Springs Road to mitigate flooding in the area.

“We broke ground in early July and since that time we’ve pretty much graded out the entire site. We’ve shaped the basin itself, we’ve actually seeded and stabilized that portion of the project, and we’re currently working on the construction of the embankment,” said Ross Morland, Rockingham County Director of Engineering.

Morland said that the overall earthwork of the project is about 90 percent complete but is currently on hold due to a delay in the arrival of materials needed to finish the construction of the 19-foot embankment and storm pipe that will help mitigate flooding in neighborhoods in the surrounding area.

“All the stormwater runoff that’s generated from those sites first comes through this portion of the watershed and so in an attempt to prevent localized flooding this basin will be utilized to temporarily hold that water, hold it back, and then release it at a pre-controlled rate,” said Morland.

So far the county has put in five feet of the foundation for the embankment but cannot continue until it is able to get the necessary materials. Once it is complete the drainage basin will be able to hold a significant amount of runoff water.

“It’ll hold back that water for an extended period of time, several hours for sure, possibly even days depending on how heavy it rains, and then release that water at a lower rate for a longer period of time but at a lower volume potentially preventing any flooding,” said Morland.

Morland said that once construction is complete more trees will be planted around the area of the basin to create a vegetative buffer for residents living nearby.

He said he anticipates construction of the embankment and storm pipe to be complete sometime in January and the site to be completely stabilized by March.