Elizabeth City, N.C. – There’s one stretch of Water Street, just north of Elizabeth Street, that typically has a lot of water on it.
“Usually the water is standing deep enough that you have to come onto the oncoming traffic to even get through it because it’s so deep,” said one resident.
The road has always dipped down in that spot, causing water to collect there, but the flooding became worse over the past few weeks.
Here’s why: Because of ongoing construction, three nearby roads are closed. That makes Water Street the primary detour. With twice as much traffic traveling down it, the road settled down even more.
“As a result, I think one of the outlet pipes has probably cracked, so it wasn’t draining properly,” said Randy Midgett, North Carolina Department of Transportation District Engineer.
Midgett says along the curb, water was up to two-feet deep at times.
To alleviate the flooding, a bypass pipe was installed a few days ago to serve as a temporary fix.
“So far that seems to have fixed the problem, or at least made it a lot better. We don’t have the water that was standing there every day,” said Midgett.
There haven’t been any heavy downpours in Elizabeth City recently, though, so they still have to wait to see how the pipe handles a storm.
If it doesn’t work, Midgett says they’ll have to go back in and install another pipe.
They plan to put in a permanent solution this fall once they’re able to reopen other roads and close down Water Street.