Storm drains unable to keep up with heavy rain

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CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – Schools closed and roads flooded — all because the storm drains in Chesapeake are unable to keep up with the amount of water that has fallen over the last few days.

The storm drains in the City of Chesapeake are only capable of pushing out so much water at any one time.

“We’ve got a storm water management system, a storm drain system, that’s designed to handle about two inches of water at a time,” said Heath Covey, who is the Public Information Coordinator for the City of Chesapeake.

Covey says that two inches is normal for the area, but the amount of rain the region has seen over the last few days has created a back-up and forced that water out of the drains and onto the streets.

Covey said, “It’s really just a matter of overcapacity. So much water in so short of time.”

Elbow Road, which is in both Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, was closed to drivers Wednesday. But that didn’t stop people from making their way through it.

“We didn’t see it until I was pretty much in it. I saw people going slow, but I didn’t realize how deep it was until I was about halfway through,” said Andrew Borremans, who lives in Virginia Beach. “And at that point, I just had to keep going. Don’t let off the gas cause you don’t want to create that suction with the exhaust.”

Derek Wolf, who tried to bike through the water, wasn’t as successful.  He said, “It’s pretty crazy. I’ve never seen this road flood this bad before. So first time for everything.”

It’s water that Covey hopes drivers will stay out of.

“If you don’t have to be on the roads, don’t go out,” Covey said. “Because roads are flooded all over Hampton Roads.”

For more information on closed roads in Chesapeake, visit their website.

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