Roanoke stormwater utility looks at downtown flooding solutions

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 4:01 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Roanoke’s Stormwater Utility is working on solutions to prevent intense flooding downtown.

Members of the public works service center delivered a presentation to City Council Thursday morning, looking at possible infrastructure projects.

A senior engineer in the stormwater division outlined several ways the city could drain water faster from the streets, as well as store water by impounding it upstream.

In total, the projects are estimated to cost between $80 million and $85 million.

As for the funding, the department is hoping to start grant applications to see where the city would stand.

”That’s the big piece of downtown flooding puzzle that we’re still working on; we’d have to have further discussion to have that financing strategy,” says Ian Shaw, Stormwater Utility manager.

City officials emphasized this would not completely stop all flooding, but make it more manageable and less costly in damages.

Shaw says implementing all the projects, optimistically, would take about 25 years.

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