Overworked city sewers push water back up into Village Cafe

Posted at 12:16 AM, May 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-23 00:16:59-04

West End mom Holly Saunders says it's by far the worst thing she's ever driven through.

Bar managers at the popular Village Cafe say the flooding is something they're getting used to.

When our cameras got there, the water was receding on Interstate 95. But pictures Holly Saunders took minutes before tell a story of storm drains overflowing.  "Once I hit the city it unleashed and all three lanes were stopped," said Saunders.  "Water was pouring from 95 south to 95 north."

And the flooding in the fan was just as bad.  "It was five feet over the curb,” said Village Cafe bar manager Chris Brumfield.  He says they're getting used to and prepared for scenes like this.

A waitress shot video during the storm as the intersection of Harrison and Grace Streets began swelling with water.  "A large amount of rain in a short period of time, and the sewers can't handle it, man,” said Brumfield. “It starts seeping through the floor.  Luckily we have our mops and wet vacuums ready."

But there were no wet vacuums in Mosby,  as water raced across the Martin Luther King Bridge. Several  pedestrians said Mosby Street is like the bottom of a bowl where the water always collects.

"Rain comes down the hills sometimes and it's 6 to 8 inches deep," said one soggy foot soldier.

Fast and furious, Thursday’s storm only lasted about 20 minutes but it left behind hours, maybe even days, of clean-up work. "Earthquake aftershocks last night,” said Saunders.  “Today this storm.  I mean, bring on the long weekend.”