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Flooding hits Woodstock wastewater treatment plant, roads

By Elizabeth Wilkerson - ewilkerson@nvdaily.com

A lawn near Locust Street and Summit Avenue in Woodstock was mostly underwater on Tuesday after heavy rains Monday night. Dennis Grundman/Daily
WOODSTOCK -- A slow-moving thunderstorm that drenched the region Monday night flooded part of Woodstock's wastewater treatment plant and the town office building, Town Manager Larry Bradford said Tuesday.

Bradford said he was called out between 9:30 and 10 p.m. Monday.

"We just found a lot of water running and we had a number of roads under water that we had to close," he said. Police helped close the roads, he said, and the town began getting calls from residents with "direct problems, like water in the basement."

"Then we got a call that the wastewater treatment plant had been overwhelmed," Bradford said. "We started getting as much as 7,000 gallons of water a minute and the plant hydraulically could not handle it, so it stopped running and just started filling up with water."

The plant is in the midst of a roughly $30 million upgrade, and the new treatment system was being tested when the storm hit, he said. On Tuesday, crews were in the process of switching back to the old system, which the plant has been using while under construction, he said.

The plant's membrane filter building flooded, he said, but the water did not reach its offices. The water was being pumped down, he said, and "assessment teams are coming in to look at" the flooded area.

Bradford said his guess is that the storm and subsequent flooding have set the plant upgrade back four to six months. The plant was set to be completed by the end of the year, he said.

Though the plant likely lost some equipment in the flood, Bradford said, the town "shouldn't be out money."

"But, just being involved with such an event is going to cost us money," he said. "It's extended the construction time, so you're paying for services that you didn't plan to pay for."

Also, parts of Woodstock's town office flooded when a drainage ditch directly behind the building was overwhelmed, he said. There was an inch or two of water in the building, he said, but "nothing major" was lost.

Sections of U.S. 11 near the Ben Franklin store and Foundry Street were closed Monday night, he said, as were Mill Road, North Water Street, East Spring Street and Massanutten Heights. By about 3 a.m. Tuesday, the roads had been reopened, he said.

National Weather Service spokeswoman Jackie Hale said Monday's storm "was definitely moving very slowly." In Woodstock, 3.33 inches of rain was recorded, she said.

"It was isolated showers and thunderstorms, and that's the area that was hit pretty good," she said. This time of year, she said, it's "pretty common" for storms to hit some areas harder than others.

Strasburg Town Manager Kevin Fauber said he thought Strasburg "had a minimal amount of rain," though he had heard reports of up to 6 inches of rain in Woodstock.

"Those thunderstorms can do funny things," he said. "There's not too many storm drain systems in these older parts of town that are designed to handle rainfall events like that."

Hale said Fort Valley reported 2.23 inches of rain, while Edinburg reported 1.39 inches. Edinburg Mayor/Town Manager Dan Harshman said he didn't know of any storm damage in town.

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1 Comment


We live on senedo road about 1 mile from town limits and our rain gauage measured 5 inches.

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