NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - At least a hundred thousand gallons of water -- that's what construction superintendent Paul Becraft estimates is flooding the construction site of an apartment complex off Monticello Avenue between 17th Street and 18th Street.
The site of the future 164-unit complex is sandbagged and sits 4 feet below street level. The flooding comes after heavy rain Wednesday night, but this has happened before.
"All the water comes from Granby Street, back down 17th and 18th, down Monticello and all ends up right here, and this thing gets overwhelmed," Becraft said.
Becraft has called the City of Norfolk about sewer drainage because the repetitive flooding delays work.
"Now the city's been good," Becraft said. "They've come, they've made sure the lines were clear. They've sucked them all out twice. It's not a situation where the storm [drain] is overwhelmed with trash or anything. It's just too small."
Becraft says the problem is not that the drains are clogged, it's that the drainage system is too old and the abundance of water after heavy rain all drains into a 12 inch pipe. The pipes get backed up no matter how clean they are.
The City sent an inspector Friday morning, and a Norfolk Public Works spokesperson told WAVY.com it was determined the flooding is due to a pooling of rainwater, that the site is not tied into city lines; the flooding is not because of a water main break or a sewer backup or overflow from sewer lines. The spokesperson said drainage is good, but the site is private property, and it's the company's responsibility to pump the water out.
Two pumps brought in by HOY Construction -- the company building the complex -- are removing water, but resident John Desocio says flooding is not new to the area and will keep coming.
"It happens at the corner of Princess Anne and Colley. It happens at the Hague on Mobray Arch. It always floods," Desocio says. "A lot of it has to because Norfolk is below sea level, so obviously we probably need new drains."
HOY Construction plans to install barriers around the site to keep the water out from now on, but there are concerns about what damage the flooding will do once the building is built and residents move in.
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