Storm Drain Problems in Golden Belt Neighborhood

This picture was taken Saturday, May 28, at the corner of Elm and Franklin Streets.  This was long after the rains had stopped.  Obviously, the storm drain was badly clogged because the water was not moving.  Friday, there was serious flooding on Belt St.  Cars parked along the street had their interiors flooded.  You can see pictures of the flooding here:

 The City needs to clean its  storm drains.

Here’s what the City’s website has to say:

“Does the City have a map of the drainage system?

No. The City is in the process of locating and mapping stormwater drainage systems located in the City of Durham. Fieldwork for the citywide stormwater inventory project began in June 1999 and should be completed next year. The inventory will identify and catalog stormwater drainage system components such as pipes, culverts, bridges, pipe outfalls, manholes, junction boxes, catch basins, and yard inlets. The City will use the inventory data to: produce a comprehensive map of the stormwater drainage system; develop a drainage system maintenance schedule; address localized flooding and drainage problems; develop priorities for watershed master planning; and identify priorities for future capital improvement needs.”

The City has been working on a map since 1999, and it’s still not complete!  Once they have a map, then they will “develop a drainage system maintenance schedule,”  which suggests that they don’t have one now.

So is any maintenance ever being done?  It’s time to have some answers.

UPDATE  (June 30):     Paul J. Wiebke,  Assistant Stormwater Manager for the City of Durham, responded to an inquiry by Gary Kueber of Scientific Properties.  Here’s what the city has planned:

 Short term (this summer):

 The drainage systems in this area will be evaluated (video inspection) to determine if there are failures/blockages in the existing drainage system.  We would then evaluate the system failures/blockages and pursue corrective action.

 Longer term (remainder of FY 2012):

 The drainage system will be evaluated for condition (are pipes and/or basins in need of repair/replacement) and capacity (are pipes of sufficient size and are there sufficient drains).  This will be completed in time to make budget recommendations for FY 2013 budget cycle so that changes or improvements needed can occur beginning in FY 2013.

For future updates on this project please contact Dana Hornkohl at
or at 560-4326 ext. 30246


2 Responses to “Storm Drain Problems in Golden Belt Neighborhood”

  1. Natalie Says:

    We have video of the latest floods in Cleveland Holloway.
    It is ridiculous that the storm drain system is so poorly maintained.

  2. Nik Mitchell Says:

    Even after their evaluation turned up numerous things in the drain lines and thusly cleaned out, the drain system at the corner of Franklin St. and Belt St. still gets overrun just as easily as before during a thunderstorm. Sorry, but 18 inches of water in 20 minutes’ worth of rain is not something i would say is considered functioning/resolved.

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