W.Va. DOH provides update about town of Rand’s drainage situation

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 5:21 PM EST
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - If you call Rand, West Virginia home, you know when it rains that issues with high water aren’t far behind.

High water in Rand has been a problem for decades. As the rainy season lingers in the future, residents in the area say they’re worried.

“It doesn’t take but one time, it’s getting closer and closer,” said Rand resident Mack Reed.

But officials say a solution is getting closer, as well. A study on the area has been conducted, and final reports are being wrapped up. The Department of Highways sent this statement to WSAZ from District 1 Maintenance Engineer Kathy Rushworth:

“Potesta & Associates submitted the City of Rand Drainage Preliminary Investigation and Engineering (PIE) Study dated 1/21/2021. Potesta began the study in August of 2020 and included dye tracing, smoke testing, and video inspection of the storm sewer system. The Study Summary notes that topography, hydrology, and other limitations prevent a solution to mitigate all flooding in Rand.

“WVDOH works to provide drainage from routes in WVDOH right-of-way and is not able to solve regional drainage and flooding problems. The PIE Study proposed 3 Alternative solutions, all requiring multi-millions of dollars in funding. WVDOH D1 and Engineering personnel met on-site in Rand with Potesta on 3/2/2021 to review the findings of the Study, and review work that can legally be completed by WVDOH state forces. WVDOH will clean storm sewers identified during the study and install additional drop inlet drains this year.”

They note that because of right-of-way issues, the department can only work where they are legally allowed. While DOH crews do what they can, West Virginia lawmakers are working on other solutions.

State Sen. Glenn Jeffries has been involved in assisting the people of Rand for a while.

“We have a price and we can start working on it whether it’s being broken up into pieces or if they will be able to fund the whole thing,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries is in constant communication with the DOH, discussing prices and mitigation efforts. He says he is working on using federal grant money to fix Rand’s drainage system problems.

The grant in discussion comes from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This federal funding comes in the form of a new HUD grant, called Community Development Block Grant-Mitigation (CDBG-MIT), given to West Virginia in 2020.

The grant gives the state $106 million. A requirement for the grant is that the state must allocate at least 50 percent of the money must go to Clay, Greenbrier, Kanawha, and Nicholas counties. For more information on the grant, click here.

Jeffries says he is working on aiding the application process between state and county officials. If the grant money is approved, crews can proceed with fixing the town’s drainage system.

“The estimated cost for the project is about fifteen million dollars,” Jeffries said.

If approved, the project would take a year and a half. For more on the flooding issues in Rand, click here .

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