Riverdale residents were drenched Friday night with nearly 4 inches of rain in a very short span of time, causing basements to fill with storm water, flash flooding over saturated lands and hillsides, and mounds of mud and debris at intersections along Hwy 67 throughout the City.
Here are my notes (Mike Bawden) from the 3 hours I spent checking out various spots in the City …
Fenno Road/Hwy 67
Water was standing in ditches, with trash and other debris obstructing many of the culverts that would allow water to pass under the highway and make its way toward the river. No word how businesses located south of State Street (Schebler, Arconic and others) fared or were handling the runoff. The neighborhood up and on top of Fenno Hill appeared no worse for wear although we didn’t have a chance to speak to any residents.
SCC Entrance (College Drive)
The entrance to Scott Community College was buried under nearly 8 inches of mud which seems to have come up from the storm water pipes located under the road. Mayor Mike Bawden worked with SCC Dean Matt Schmidt to get a crew from the college out with a skid loader to scoop the entrance out so cars and bicyclists using the MRT could pass.
Arconic Learning Center
There appears to have been a washout under the eastern entrance to the Arconic Learning Center, resulting in the driveway collapsing. The MRT running from the SCC entrance to Manor Drive had standing water on parts of it (and didn’t appear to be draining) but was otherwise passable.
Manor Drive/Circle Drive
Residents living on top of Riverdale Hill reported that their sump pumps were running throughout the night. Some escaped with little to no damage while others had nearly a foot of water standing in their basements when they went down to check on things in the morning. Add to these problems the recent announcement by Republic that it was suspending bulky waste pick-up for the foreseeable future, and there are issues the City will have to deal with on Monday morning.
Developer Seth Woods was on his tractor first thing in the morning, scraping mud out of the Gwyneth/State Street intersection and putting it back into the development. While the seeding and matting Woods Development had done on the north side of Gwyneth held firm, the bare land left by contractors installing gas and electric lines created an opportunity for the minor mud-slide Woods and his employees had to deal with.
To his credit, Woods was on the scene before the site was inspected by the City. He also had his employees work on parts of the MRT that were covered with mud and debris so bikers could continue to use the trail rather than ride in the street.
Brenny’s Motorcycle Clinic
The Brenny’s complex weathered the storm in fine fashion, although some erosion appears to have taken place under the drainage pipes leading from the new building. Mayor Mike Bawden stopped by to check on Mark Brenny and his crew who were still hard at work, doing business in spite of the recent challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and extreme weather.
Inspection of Havens Acres showed this neighborhood showed it weathered the storm as well as expected – many of the homes in the area were already dealing with a river and creek at or near flood stage. Pumps were moving water to the street and storm water system. Much of the work that will be done on the roads in the neighborhood this summer will address the catch basins and drainage areas in addition to the street surface and driveway entrances. Some work (behind the curbs) will begin in the next month (weather permitting).
Taking a quick look at the state of Fox Creek (which runs from by SCC and then under Belmont Road toward the river), there was a lot of debris and the water levels ran high overnight, but we didn’t see any major damage. Flow through this area has increased significantly due to parking lots and other development by PVCSD and SCC. I did not have a chance to speak to residents up by the bend in Belmont Road to see if there were any unique problems.
Photos from my “disaster tour” of Riverdale can be found below:
The lower retention basin near the commercial lots for Woods Estates was doing its job.
The ditch where water should be flowing from the SCC entrance into the storm water system.
Runoff from the woods near the SCC entrance. There is no stream or drainage way here – this is just excess water from the storm.
Standing water near Brenny’s Motorcycle Clinic.
Backed up water near the intersection of Valley Drive and State Street.
Developer Seth Woods calls in some reinforcements to help clean the bike path and make sure more erosion control is in place in case of future rains.
More runoff from the woods near the SCC entrance.
A little bit of wash out under the drain pipe at Brenny’s.
The mud at the entrance of SCC was about 8 inches deep and extended from the end of the road to the beginning of the rise up the hill.
This pool of standing water near Fenno and Hwy 67 is nearly a foot deep.
Water standing in the ditch near FBM
Drainage was so obstructed at the SCC entrance that water was backed up 20-30 feet up the MRT and was 5-6″ deep.
A closer look at the mud found at the entrance of College Drive.
The lower retention basin is close to capacity.
More mud and erosion along the MRT.
Developer Seth Woods showed up early to get to work clearing the intersection of Gwyneth Drive and State Street.
Silt fences along the commercial property for Woods Estates failed, spilling mud and water over the MRT and into the ditch.
Mud flowing into the intersection of Gwyneth Drive and State Street.
Mud at the SCC entrance ran part-way up the hill and then stopped, leading us to believe the source of the mud was the storm sewer running under the road.
The water along Hwy 67 between Valley Drive and Fenno Road doesn’t seem to be draining due to debris in the culverts.
Trash and debris in the ditch by the SCC entrance is part of the problem water is not draining.
Damaged driveway entrance (East side) of the Arconic Learning Center.
Water and mud standing on the MRT between SCC entrance and the Arconic Learning Center. Drains were clear and open, but the trail doesn’t drain to them.
Water running out of the woods near the SCC entrance had no where to go and backed up on the MRT.