Study could be done to help address flooding in Danville

Flash flooding over the weekend cost one car dealership millions of dollars

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

DANVILLE, Va. - The parking lot of Robert Woodall Chevrolet looked more like a lake than a parking lot shortly after midnight Sunday.

Eighty-one cars, 50 of them brand new, were totaled by the flash flooding Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

Dealership owner Robbie Woodall said the loss is close to $5 million.

"This happened the first time in 2013. The city has a problem with storm drainage. They've been knowing it for five or six years," Woodall said. "When it happened then, we had a claim of about $2.5 million and our insurance went up tens of thousands of dollars a year. I'm sure it's going to go up again."

The totaled cars, many of which still had mud and debris from the flood on their tires, are now parked in an empty lot down the street

Woodall also estimates the water caused about $75,000 worth of damage to one of the buildings on the dealership's lot.

Water threatened the Chevrolet dealership during a similar flash flood in May of this year.

"I've already talked to the city again this morning," Woodall said Monday. "They're working on it, trying to get a game plan together."

Deputy city manager Earl Reynolds said the problems causing the flooding are still being investigated, and there's no telling how long that will take.

Once the investigation is complete though, a study may be done.

"The public works director has indicated that, given the unusual weather conditions of the last couple of years, that's probably something that we need to do," Reynolds said. "It will identify proven engineering solutions to those problems and it will also give cost parameters."

He said his phone has been ringing off the hook from complaints about flooding.

"Flooding may involve storm drainage, it may involve a number of other situations and that's why we really need to take a comprehensive look at it," said Reynolds.

With more rain in the forecast this week, Woodall planned to move his cars around to hopefully keep them out of Mother Nature's reach.

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