Officials say Alderson infrastructure improvements lessened flood severity


ALDERSON, WV (WVNS) — Several improvements to the town of Alderson’s infrastructure were put to the test during a flash flood on Friday, June 19, 2020.

Mayor Travis Copenhaver said based on the sheer amount of water that was dumped Friday, that would have equated to a 500 year flooding event. After the 2016 floods, the town made improvements to existing storm drains and put in new ones to prevent any severe flood damage. Mayor Copenhaver said there is no doubt in his mind these additions made a difference.

“So if we had not had in place these changes, especially on the east end of town, there would have been substantial flooding, and there was not. In fact, the flooding that happened as a result of this runoff was limited to houses that were not in the floodplain, but also some that were, but it was minimal,” Copenhaver explained.

Those who live in close proximity to the newly implemented drains said if it were not for those drains, they would have seen more damage than what they did. Robert “Hoppy” Hopkins, an Alderson Resident, said the drains are working.

“The drains did what they (were) supposed to do, the guys that came out here and worked on them, and a boy come out here and said, ‘Hoppy the drains didn’t do what they were supposed to do,’ I said yeah they done what they done. The river didn’t flood, the water came down the road and the drains couldn’t take it all with that kind of water,” Hopkins said.

Those within the floodplain said they are appreciative of all of the additions to the town’s infrastructure. Copenhaver said there are more changes to come. Engineers are working on installing new drains, putting in new lines on the Monroe County side of the river.

The Town of Alderson is in its third phase of installing new storm drains.

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