CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Officials with the Kanawha County Commission are providing an update on plans to prevent flooding on Greenbrier Street near the Capitol Flea Market.
According to the commission, contractors with Capitol Flea Market leaseholder JF Enterprises have filed a building permit to fix the culvert that has been the cause of flooding issues over the past several months.
The project is projected to cost $105,000 to upgrade the current 36-inch culvert to a 48-inch culvert. With the building permit issued, the work can “start at any time,” according to the commission.
Commissioners say this is a “huge step in the right direction” between JF Enterprises and the commission. In November 2022, the commission filed a lawsuit against the parties they allege are responsible for repeated flooding that happens in that area during rain events.
According to the commission, the issue with the serious flooding first arose after the severe, extensive rain that hit the state on Aug. 15, 2022. That weather event caused severe floods throughout multiple parts of the state, including several properties along the 2000 block of Greenbrier Street.
At that time, the Kanawha County Office of Planning and Community Development launched an investigation into what caused that area to flood, the commission said. Through the investigation, they found a collapsed culvert system under the Capitol Flea Market’s parking lot was holding water back. The office then issued an emergency Public Nuisance violation against the property owner and lessor on Aug. 16.
Crews did begin pumping water at the collapsed culvert on Aug. 18 and 19, 2022, and told WOWK 13 News Reporter Rachel Pellegrino at the time that they were trying their best to recess the water so residents down the street could see some relief to their properties, but that they had to proceed cautiously so the water wouldn’t flood properties below the area.
Officials said in November a Plan of Action to fix and repair the culverts was sent to the owners on Aug. 24, 2022. The commission’s lawsuit claimed that, however, the owners “failed to take the necessary steps to repair the collapsed culvert.”