Flooding washes away vehicles

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Midlothian Turnpike and German School Road is an area that is long prone to flooding from heavy rains. Drivers were stranded in the flash flooding Thursday evening. Some parts of the road were covered in three feet of water. But plans are in the works to fix the problem.

Submerged cars, stranded drivers, and water rescues are nothing new to Midlothian Turnpike. Before the city spent $15-million to widen Reedy Creek, nearly every rain brought a flood. Reedy Creek now stays put, but drainage problems on Midlothian and German School continue.

In August 2009 a heavy rain washed away cars and then there was the storm Thursday night.

"People that have lived in Richmond for all of these years; you know this area, so you should avoid it," said Anthony Taylor.

Anthony Taylor was one of many soaked Good Samaritans who waded through 3-feet of water to reach stranded driver Betty Lee.

"I'm just upset that they didn't block the road off for us. I didn't know it was that deep," Betty Lee said.

The city was also caught off guard. Fire and rescue say, if they know a storm is coming they will keep an eye on flood prone areas like Midlothian.

"If it's a flash flood or the rain becomes torrential it can get ahead of us. It can get ahead of everyone," said Sharon North.

Sharon North is with the city's Public Works, she says Midlothian is a priority.

"The flooding is nothing new to the city, but it is something we are diligently working to alleviate," she said.

Ironically, bids went out this week for a $39-million plan to stop the flooding. This often- drowning roadway will get new curbs, gutters, sidewalks and drainage over the next two years.

"It's going to take the water that now ends up standing on the road and it's going to feed it out into the enhanced Reedy Creek," said North.

VDOT still needs to name a construction company to head up the project. City leaders hope to break ground on the improvements in November. 

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