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Homeowner takes action after Appomattox River floods Old Towne Petersburg

Posted at 6:56 PM, Oct 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 18:56:38-04

PETETRSBURG, Va. -- Home and business owners in Petersburg continued clean up Monday after Tropical Storm Michael swelled the Appomattox River causing it to flood parts of Old Towne.

Those who live and work along River Street in Petersburg said they've had to contend with what they called water draining from the city flooding into street.

"Basically where the river rised up, the storm system backs up, and that's what we have," building owner Joe Fowkes said.

Homeowner Jeff Munn said he started working at 7 a.m. Monday to make sure the drain near his home did not clog and the water had someplace to go. He said he had to unclog the drain every 30 minutes or so.

"I knew that drain was there and I also knew it plugs all the time," Munn said. "This water level has dropped about a foot since this morning when I came out and unplugged the drain."

Munn and his wife were out of state over the weekend when they got word the street was beginning to flood.

"We started driving back from West Virginia and by the time we got here, the water was already three-feet deep," he said.

The water rose up to 30 feet inside his building. He captured drone video to show the extent of the flooding.

"This might have been prevented if the city had some type of contingency plan for those drains," he said.

When asked about steps taken to prevent flooding, a spokesperson for the City of Petersburg said city crews worked throughout the weekend and overnight to ensure the safety of those in the flood area.

"Rain Stops were installed in the sanitary sewer system to prevent storm water from taking over the city’s sanitary sewer system. While the area has seen tremendous improvement, access points to River Street were closed off over the weekend in the best interest of local businesses to minimize their impact," the spokesperson said. "At this time, the City is investigating options for increased preventative measures for the future."