RAND, WV (WOWK) – The West Virginia Department of Highways (WVDOH) plans to fix the drainage system in Rand that has been causing flooding for over 50 years.

It’s a project that Mack Reed, who lives in Rand, said he’s been advocating for about seven years.

“I’ve seen this whole block get flooded out, seriously this whole block, and like I said it’s really sad,” Reed said. “I don’t think we deserve that here, and not just us, I don’t think nobody deserves this.”

The WVDOH said the problem behind the constant flooding is a poorly constructed drainage system that has failed over the years. Additionally, part of the town is built on a “slough” or “low-lying area along the river where water tends to collect before slowly draining off.”

“All of the old drains seem to have been lost or unusable now,” said Jason Foster, Deputy State Highway Engineer. “So, we’re essentially starting from scratch with a drainage system in a community that already exists which makes it very difficult.”

To fix the problem, the WVDOH will replace a dozen storm sewer lines and add additional outlets to the Kanawha River.

The project is estimated to cost $12 million and will take several years to complete. The WVDOH said final plans will be done by January 2024 and the project will be bid on in February 2024.

Residents, however, are hoping it can be done sooner.

“I understand it is a big project but they knew it was a big project way back,” Reed said. “If this project goes on and on … What’s going to happen? All of Rand gets flooded out.”

There will be a public informational workshop Tuesday, Oct. 18 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Rand Community Center to discuss the project.