Roanoke City faces growing list of storm water issues - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Roanoke City faces growing list of storm water issues

Posted: Updated:

On Jan. 31, Melissa Miller took video as her yard flooded on Narrows Lane in south Roanoke. 

"I looked out my window that night and said, 'Something don't look right,' and it was because I was seeing water," says Miller. 

Miller says the problem has gone on for decades, and because of it her house is molding.  

And this isn't a couple of inches. Miller says sometimes the water comes up more than two feet on her house.  

Unfortunately, Miller isn't alone. Roanoke City has a list of 208 areas that suffer from flooding, some impacting multiple homes, including flooding after a storm on King Street back in 2011. The city gave us a list of the top 25 worst flooded places in the city: Belle Avenue & King Street is number one, and Miller's home is number 21.  

"I don't like it, because I have experience it my whole life," says Miller.    

City manager Chris Morrill says $70 million would fix everything.

"We have had a flooding problem since we were created as a community. It is a big deal and something we have to deal with. Three years ago was the first time we started funding storm water projects as a critical infrastructure," says Morrill.

Each year, the city uses $1.2 million and matching money from the state, but can only fix a few places at a time. In the past three years, 10 projects were fixed. 

"Not making as much progress as we would like. We are also looking at a storm water utility. We are the largest city in the state that doesn't have a utility," says Morrill.    

The city is looking into the $3 monthly fee, which could help speed things up, but Morrill says it will still take years to help Miller.

"With the order we are going now, without a fee and just normal funds, she is probably 2016 and 2017," Morrill says, and decades to get through the rest of the list.