Richmond cleans storm drains, provides James River floodwall update

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Robert Steidel said city crews have been cleaning in and around storm drains in an effort to clear potential blockages and prevent neighborhood flooding ahead of Hurricane Florence.

"We've done all that we can," he said. "The system is in good shape."

The James River floodwall passed its most recent round of testing this past June, he added.

The floodwall could come into play if heavy rain falls west of Richmond.

"That water has to go somewhere. It's called going down river. Richmond lies down river," Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said. "We have to continue to monitor what the water looks like... maybe a week after rainfall occurs."

Steidel said a decision on whether or not to close the floodwall would be based on the elevations of the river itself.

"It would not be necessary to close it until the predictions of the levels in the river are such that we would have to close the wall to protect the city," he said.

He said river levels would have to reach nine or 10 feet at the Westham gauge for that to happen.

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