Petersburg is asking citizens to stay off roadways, if possible, during heavy rain forecasted to begin around 3pm this afternoon. Emergency Management, Police, Fire, and Public Works are on standby to close streets when needed and to keep vehicles and people away from areas in the city that do flood when heavy rain falls quickly.
“We are prepared and expect that some low areas in the city may flood during heavy downpours,” says City Manager Stuart Turille. “City crews will close roadways with high water and will continuously monitor all street conditions. We want to make sure people stay safe during emergency situations.”
The Petersburg Department of Public Works has been cleaning drains following recent flash flooding from Tropical Storm Elsa. Public Works has crews and equipment ready if needed today during the storms. Areas in the city that may flood include low areas throughout the city and streets near creeks, streams and the river.
The city’s infrastructure in most areas is well over 150 years old and needs to be upgraded,” explains Turille. “Engineering consultants are working on a storm drainage management plan. Once a plan is finalized and costs determined, the City will apply for grants from state and federal agencies to pay for the needed upgrades.”
Citizens are asked to be cautious during heavy rain and flash flood situations:
- Don't walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car - NEVER DRIVE AROUND BARRICADES (HIGH WATER AND ROAD CLOSED SIGNS).
- If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most flood fatalities occur in vehicles.
- Don't walk along streams or riverbanks.
- Don’t allow children or pets to play in or near flood water.
- Avoid any contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with harmful chemicals and debris that are not visible from the surface.
- Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Underpasses, dips, low spots, etc. can become rapidly filled with water.
If citizens see clogged drains or fallen trees, please call Street Operations at (804) 733-2415 during normal working hours (8am-5pm). To report any flooded areas or concerns after 5pm, please call the Petersburg Police Department’s non-emergency number, 804-732-4222. Call 911 for all emergencies, including any emergencies where you must exit your home due to flooding.