Morgantown begins cleaning up and moving forward after “100-year” storm

West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – On Sunday, June 13, the city saw a torrent of rain pour down on roadways that caused widespread flooding.

On Monday, June 14, the streets had cleared up and the sun shined most of the day, which helped to dry out areas affected by flooding. Morgantown’s Director of Public Works and Engineering Damien Davis said after, initially, assessing the damages, things did not look too bad.

Damien Davis

I would say it’s pretty minor compared to some of the extent of what it was, it turned out to be pretty minor damage-wise. I mean, there were some businesses, I think, that were affected. There’s a lot of the residents, along the Burrough’s Run, were affected by, not by the floodwaters per se, but by a sewer backup into their basements. There’s only one house that I saw that, actually, had floodwaters get into the structure. Everybody else I talked to was coming through their floor drains, their sewer backups.  

Damien Davis – Morgantown’s Director of Public Works and Engineering

One of the businesses severely impacted by the flooding was Istanbul, a Turkish restaurant, on Patteson Dr. Its parking lot, like the street itself, was flooded.

After the water cleared away, the pavement had buckled, it, currently, has cracks that are several feet long, spread all over.

This damage in this one case, though severe, was not widespread, Davis reiterated. He said he thought it would be a lot more, but it was mainly “isolated” to the Patteson Dr. area.

Regardless, he said, the storm that caused all the flooding was not a regular occurrence.

“This is a 100-year event,” he said. “And so, it was just a lot of water at one at a — you know, a very short amount of time and it really overwhelmed the system. You know, roadway storm drains aren’t meant or designed to handle that much water at one time. And so, they just got overwhelmed.”

Despite record amounts of rain, the roadway storm drains managed to sift the water away in about an hour, Davis said. By the time he got to Patteson Dr. to assess the situation, the water had mostly cleared away.

By Monday, Patteson Dr. was bone-dry and signs of a flood were no longer there.

Patteson Dr. on Monday

More severe weather is expected in the Morgantown area for Monday night, but Davis said he doesn’t anticipate it will be as severe as Sunday’s storm.

“I don’t expect or anticipate an event like this will happen again soon, and so, you know, we’re going to be out there inspecting the system,” Davis said. “MUB has been out there since last night and even today inspecting their system. We have meetings with DOH tomorrow to look at some of the things that we saw.”

In case there’s any more flooding on the roadways, Davis said, drivers should proceed with caution and not take unnecessary risks.

Photo Credit: Camryn Nelson

“If you see floodwaters, don’t try to drive through them that can be very dangerous,” he warned. “You know, your car stalls out and you’re stuck in the middle of it and water is very powerful and it sweep you away pretty quickly. So yeah, just be safe and be careful.”

In case of an emergency, always call 911, he said, they will be your best bet for a rescue. The fire department is available to help with, both, rescue and clean up. Firefighters have been helping people clean out their basements by pumping out the waste materials.

“If people are in need of assistance, you know, call 911, let them know, and then the fire department will come out and help in any way they can,” said Davis.

 

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