PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — With the addition of over $9 million from the American Rescue Plan Act federal, Petersburg City Council determined storm drainage system repairs are one of their top priorities for utilizing the grant funding.

The city has committed to using around $2.1 million from the funding to repair Petersburg’s aging infrastructure that results in regular flooding in the area.

Petersburg City Manager Stuart Turille attributed the changing climate and lack of infrastructure evaluation as the reason the flooding has become a more significant challenge for the city.

“It happens every major rain. The storm drainage system has had no comprehensive evaluation study likely in over 60 years,” Turille explained. “There is aging infrastructure laying in the ground that is nearly 200 to 300 years old. There are even more impervious surfaces in the city. It is not suitable for the city and stormwater runoff.”

Turille said the city has seen storms of greater intensity and frequency over the last several years, which has created even more flooding.

“We have shovel-ready projects mapped out for the worst areas in the city for flooding. We know those and are ready to get going on them,” he said. “A storm drainage study will be happening soon to determine the worst flooded areas, but we know from on the ground experience that we can’t wait for a map to be done for certain areas.”

He noted Claremont Street, North Whitehill Drive and Bank Street as three of the first areas the city will handle when construction is ready to begin in the near future.

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Flooding on Claremont Street in Petersburg