I-95 flooding blamed on plastic box lid over drain

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The lid of a large plastic box covered a storm drain on Interstate 95 in Richmond on Thursday turning the highway into a river, according to VDOT.

Motorists sent video and photos of the flooding to NBC12 and posted them on social media during the height of the storm. At times cars were left stranded in up to three feet of standing water.

"Whenever you have very heavy rain over a short period of time, that area [near the I-95/64 interchange] is very easy for the water to start to kind of pool together there," said VDOT spokesperson Lindsay LeGrand. "What we also found was a very large plastic box top that was covering the drainage slot. That was actually the main cause of the standing water there on I- 95 yesterday evening."

VDOT believes the heavy wind that came with this storm probably blew the box lid off a truck and sucked it into the drain.  VDOT sweeps the drains near the Belvidere exit weekly. Crews had even checked the area before this storm hit. 

"It is a bottom area. So, it is an area where water tends to pool when there's very heavy rain in a very short period of time," added LeGrand. 

VDOT doesn't plan to change anything because of what happened, as that area is already checked more often than most. It appears the wind, rain and hail, combined with that plastic lid turned this section of I-95 into the perfect storm.

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