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Southside flooding issue comes with pricey solution

Hanover flooded roads 01.jpg
Posted at 5:01 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 17:10:34-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The skies opened up on Wednesday afternoon, dumping heavy rain on those across the area, leaving some places flooded.

Lisa Monroe watches Bainbridge Street flood often.

"I wouldn't say every rain, but it's quite often that we see the High Water Sign," Monroe said.

The street floods so frequently that Brian Bell knows exactly what to do when it happens.

"I avoid it a lot when it rains," Bell said. "Stuff yesterday, it just went down real quick. It becomes real deep, real fast cause there's nowhere for the water to go."

Lisa has lived here for a decade and she knew what was coming during Wednesday's storms.

"Oh my goodness, it was crazy. Cars got flooded, water was coming into the house," she said. "The city knows we have an issue so I feel like the city needs to fix the drainage issue out here."

Ninth District Councilman Michael Jones said that he is well aware of the frequent flooding problem.

"Southside has a flood issue, that's our number one issue," he said.

Jones said that city leaders know from a flood mitigation study how bad the situation is in the Southside. They are also aware of what it will cost to fix the issue.

"$330 million to begin to address that issue," he said.

On Thursday afternoon, the city cut a ribbon for three new green alleys to help mitigate heavy or long-term rains.

"In response to the numerous complaints and ponding water and backyard flooding due to alley misalignment, we have worked together on a solution and we are here today to celebrate the success," Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said.

Jones said that to fix the flooding issue, city council members will have to work together to agree to use tens of millions of federal and state dollars just for the Southside. However, across Richmond, there is aging infrastructure where flooding is also an issue.