Flooding aftermath keeps Salem street crews busy - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Flooding aftermath keeps Salem street crews busy

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SALEM, VA -

The flooding is over, but the work is just beginning for Salem City Streets crews who spent most of the morning cleaning up debris and working to reopen closed roads as quickly as possible.

From washed out, to covered in debris, then all clear again, the low water bridge along Mill Lane saw a high amount of action in 24 hours.

According to the National Weather Service, the Roanoke River crested at 9.9 feet in that particular area Thursday, which is nearly three feet above flood stage.  That pushed the raging water up and over the sides of the bridge and forced drivers to find an alternate route to get across.

Overnight, the flooding stopped -- but left mud, logs, large sticks, and all kinds of debris scattered all over the bridge and road.

At 7:15 Friday morning, the first city crew arrived and got to work clearing it.  It began with a visual inspection to make sure the bridge was structurally sound.  Once that was done, a backhoe showed up to push and lift some of the heavier debris out of the way.

After that, a whole team from the City Streets Department joined in, clearing debris from the sides of the bridge, using snow blowers to blow mud and small debris away, and sweeping the street clean.

City spokesperson Mike Stevens says these crews have had plenty of practice doing cleanup in this area and have found that an "all hands on deck" approach works the best and the quickest.

Mill Lane and the bridge were clear and reopened to traffic before 8:20am.

Stevens says most of the affected areas along East and West Riverside were worked on and reopened by 11:00am.

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