Storm causes flooding at Hennen's, Downtown Diner
A major storm hit Alexandria yesterday, dropping two to three inches of rain in about three hours and creating flooding problems.
Alexandria City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven said that during the storm, rainwater backed up from a floor drain in the garage of the Hennen’s Furniture store at Fourth Avenue and Broadway in Alexandria. Water backed up into the store and into the Downtown Diner, which remains open.
Schoonhoven said the backup was caused by a blockage in the storm sewer system at the location where the old system connects to the new storm sewer. This blockage has since been removed and the old system is now temporally connected to the new storm sewer, he said. This portion of old storm sewer will be replaced with a new larger pipe as part of the project.
The city and the contractor are insured for incidents like this, according to Schoonhoven, and insurance agents were called immediately and are working with the businesses to resolve the situation.
Meanwhile, work continues on the installation of underground utilities downtown. The water and the sanitary sewer mains are now completely installed through phase 1. The storm sewer main is currently being installed between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The contractor is working on the water and sewer service line connections from the new mains to the businesses and has also started installation of storm sewer services and catch basins. The contractor has three backhoes working on these items.
"We expect this underground work to continue through next week," Schoonhoven said.
Several changes have been made to the project signage to help direct local traffic downtown. Six new signs that say “Downtown Businesses Open” are being installed today along the detour routes in all directions from Broadway, Schoonhoven said.
All sidewalks remain open to the front doors of all businesses. The contractor will be working this Saturday.