Nitro neighborhood hoping for relief from flooding

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 11:38 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Nitro Republican Delegate Andy Shamblin said flash flooding has become a regular occurrence for him and his neighbors in the Brookhaven subdivision.

“With the increasing duration and frequency of the super heavy rains that we seem to have had in the past couple of years, we’re seeing between six to nine times a year that Brookhaven Drive becomes a literal river,” he said Monday.

Shamblin said recently, there has been work started on Cross Lanes Drive to alleviate some of the elements which causes the flooding in Brookhaven.

“We’ve discovered that the main problem is that we have surface flow from Brookhaven Drive. We have drainage lines that are draining into the same system, plus we have surface flow from 40th Street and surface flow from Cross Lanes Drive and it’s all pulling in a culvert,” he explained.

“We’ve had the District Engineer down here to look at the drainage and specifically to try to address the flooding issues that have occurred and we’ve also discovered that the ditch lines that flow into the same drainage system, were in desperate need of being cleaned out which the state has done. We’ve also examined the other drainage outlets underneath Cross Lanes Drive that are further on up towards Cross Lanes and we’re cleaning out those pipes.”

WSAZ reached out to the Division of Highways multiple times Monday with questions about what’s been done so far about the drainage issues, what work is planned and when neighbors can expect to see crews working on the lines on Cross Lanes Drive.

As of 10:30 pm Monday night, WSAZ still has not received a response.

Shamblin is hopeful with the start of work on Cross Lanes Drive neighbors’ concerns about flooding in Brookhaven will soon come to an end.

“I know people who hold their breath, every time we get heavy rain, because they don’t know if their basement is going to flood, the garage is going to flood, if their house is going to flood,” he said.

“There’s no magic wand. You can’t always control how much it rains and when it rains. But putting in the necessary infrastructure will definitely contribute towards a more positive neighborhood atmosphere.”

In a separate project, Cross Lanes Drive is scheduled to be fully paved next year. Shamblin is hopeful that widening of the culvert underneath Cross Lanes Drive and repairs to the drainage system can get done before the paving project.

WSAZ received a statement from the Division of Highways at 11:40 am Tuesday with information from Kathy Rushworth, P.E., District 1 Maintenance Engineer:

The ditching on Cross Lanes Drive began on Thursday, September 14, 2023 as crews are working to clear pipes and maintain the drainage system. The exact location of the work is in the vicinity of 816 Cross Lanes Drive to 610 Cross Lanes Drive (WV 62 MP 7.2-7.6).  Additional work scheduled in the area includes an embankment stabilization and bringing in a high velocity vacuum truck to wash out pipes. Two citizens requested the WVDOH investigate drainage concerns. Private development restricts natural drainage for the area. WVDOH will continue to maintain its drainage system in this area. Future plans for this area include a resurfacing of WV 62 from WV 622 to WV 25 in Putnam County in October 2024.