Broken storm pipe, large sinkhole contributed to South End flooding

View The Original Article Here

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Booming growth along with aging infrastructure and heavy rains are likely to blame for flooding in South End earlier this week. A woman captured video of a stranded driver on Ideal Way during a rainstorm.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services confirmed the nearby storm pipe is broken. Satellite images show a large sinkhole running along the pipe. The pipe is on property that belongs to Marsh Properties.

“The pipe is broken and the property owner requested assistance from the Storm Water Services Program,” Public Service Coordinator Alyssa Dodd said. “The property owner at this location contacted Storm Water Services in 2010.”

In the nine years since then, the agency has come up with a project to remove the failing drain and install a new pipe, but only recently put the project out for bid.

“Staff estimates the project will be completed summer 2020,” Dodd said. “Critical projects located within city streets and city rights-of-way are Storm Water Services’ top priority.”

Marsh Properties President Jamie McLawhorn said the problem really worsened in the last three years after a new development started feeding into the older stormwater system. 

He said the company is eager to see the project finished.

“We are very excited,” McLawhorn said. “For a while, when [the sinkhole] wasn’t very big, it was on a list, but as it’s gotten worse, it’s moved up. It’s an unintended consequence of a new development in a part of town with old infrastructure.”

In the meantime, Storm Water Services said its staff will check the storm drains in the area to make sure they are clear.