Flood waters are rapidly receding and cleanup is underway following last week’s deluge that forced officials to shut down streets in the city.
Once flooded streets now are open again, with only one — Trade Street, which runs parallel to Riverside Drive next to the river — still closed. That street should reopen today, said Danville public information officer Arnold Hendrix.
“It still has a little water in it,” said Rick Drazenovich, public works director. “We’re just going to clean it out Monday morning.”
Memorial Drive from Robertson Bridge to Primrose Place, two parts of Goodyear Boulevard, Water Street and River Street were all re-opened by Sunday afternoon.
However, the Riverwalk Trail — which still hasn’t been fully repaired since a footbridge was pulled away by Tropical Storm Michael in October 2018 — is at least partly covered in mud and debris.
A couple of sections of the trail still are flooded, said Bill Sgrinia, director of Danville Parks and Recreation.
“It’s going to take us some time to clean it up,” Sgrinia said.
At the trail head near Carrington Pavilion on Sunday afternoon, a sign said, “Warning, Trail Closed Ahead.” But that didn’t keep walkers, runners and bicyclists from taking advantage of milder temperatures and sunny skies to get some fresh air.
“It’s bad, but the hurricane [Tropical Storm Michael] did worse,” Danville resident Rick Weadon said of the trail’s conditions while walking his two short gray pugs, Josephine, 11, and Isabella, 10, along the trestle. “The main thing is to get the roads open first and then the trail.”
Weadon uses the Riverwalk Trail every day to run and walk his dogs.
At the end of the trestle overlooking River Street, a yellow Danville Public Works vehicle could be seen on the street while a man with a hose pressure-washed remaining sediment.
“We used a front-end loader to scrape up the mud,” Drazenovich said, adding he had no idea how much damage and clean-up will cost the city.
A slick coat of mud with shoe prints on a curved walkway leading to the trail shined beneath the sun. What appeared to be a pile of thick branches lay across the trail, blocking the way.
Back at the trail head, two young women rode bike-share bicycles toward the trestle. A young couple walked by with an exuberant black-and-white Boston terrier on a leash.
Sgrinia said he did not know how much the flood damaged the trail or when it would reopen.
“We haven’t been out to assess all the damage yet,” Sgrinia said. “Our first priority is just getting the trail opened back up and assessing the damage.”
It will take a while to clean it up, he added.
In another part of the city, a sinkhole was found on Mount Cross Road near Leggett Town & Country, Drazenovich said. Traffic barrels were placed around the sinkhole, which will be assessed Monday, he said.
Crane reports for the Register & Bee. He can be reached at (434) 791-7987.