The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 29, 2012

Deep water

— It’s been said many times that nothing is as certain as death and taxes.

That, and the roadway flooding on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley.

Any time there’s a significant amount of rain in a relatively short amount of time —  at least two or three times per year — the area of Ewart Avenue and RCB Drive becomes a virtual pool for vehicles to maneuver in and around.

The problem is consistent.

It’s hazardous.

At times, it leaves most of the five lanes impassable.

The stormwater pollution also reduces the quality of nearby creeks.

But it appears that a solution is on the way, thanks to the teamwork of several local agencies.

Work on a stormwater detention pond along Ewart Avenue has begun.

The Southern Conservation District, West Virginia Conservation Agency and Beckley Sanitary Board have been working toward this project to mitigate flooding by slowing down stormwater runoff near the troublesome intersection. Crews from Mountaineer Contractors Inc. of Kingwood, have reportedly already started working on the $771,260 project.

Although officials admit that the work is “not a cure-all, it is a step in the right direction.”

Beckley Mayor Emmett Pugh estimated a flooding reduction of “50 to 60 percent.”

The pond will aid in alleviating flooding by not overwhelming the storm sewer systems.

An overall solution is still needed, but deemed not monetarily feasible at this time.

Our hope is that this current work helps resolve the problem and that a permanent solution is on the horizon.

Negotiating knee-deep stormwater is not something motorists or pedestrians need to continue to endure any longer.