City of Vidalia making improvements on storm drains after Irma damage

Hurricane Irma recovery receiving finishing touches in Vidalia

VIDALIA, GA (WTOC) - The City of Vidalia is making some improvements on their larger storm drains that drain large amounts of water. Hurricane Irma caused a lot of damage to some of them.

New cross drains now replace the drains that were damaged by Irma. The city of Vidalia says the project has been going on for over a year. When Irma came through, she caused the large drains to come apart and made them unusable. Residents say they were concerned about where all that drainage water would go.

“For years, there has been some back-up. It hasn’t gotten close to the house or anything, but that problem should be solved now," said resident, Donnie Alderman.

After the damage from Irma, the city decided they had to do something. They started the drainage project in September of 2017. They wanted to fix them, but also make them better.

“Not only put them back together, but we made improvements on those as well by putting head walls in the cross drains and making sure we can do as much as possible to be proactive, instead of reactive, you know, in the future," said Nick Overstreet, City Manager, City of Vidalia.

FEMA inspected six drains that were damaged. Once they did their evaluation, the city up fronted the money for a local contractor, and now FEMA will reimburse the city of Vidalia for five of those drains.

Now that all the drains have been repaired, the road on top of them has to be paved and the project will be complete.

“You know, we are waiting on the weather to clear up, and if it will, that’s when the pavement will be done. I’ve been insured that by the contractor and hopefully that will be done soon and that way they can be back to normal."

The city manager says the cross drains have made a big difference and they have already made it through our most recent hurricane.

“The cross drains that were done during the time Michael came through done a great job and did exactly what we expected them to do, so that was obviously re-assuring for us that we had done the right thing and took that proactive approach," Overstreet said.

Once the roads on top of these drains are re-paved, the project will be complete.

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