Flood Cleanup Testing Patience of Roanoke River Greenway Users

Roanoke, VA - The floodwaters have been receding over the past two days. Still, many rivers continue to be at very high levels, including much of the New River and parts of the Roanoke River.

Randy Polito says he loves to bike the Roanoke River Greenway, but after last week's drenching and ensuing flood, he knew he would have to make some adjustments to his routine as parts of the greenway are now closed.

"Lot of mud. Lot of pushed over grass and trees. You can really see how high the water got. It's pretty impressive with how much water that storm dumped," Polito observed.

In his way is a crew fixing the asphalt path leading to the bridge to Vic Thomas Park, a major choke point on the system that is high priority.

"So we're going to do the best that we can to get it replaced, and as quickly as possible, so people can go back to enjoying our greenways," Steve Buschor, Director of Roanoke City Parks And Recreation explained.

In the way of the work crews are greenway users. Hundreds of thousands use the system every year, some of whom are getting in the way in places where they shouldn't be. There is little room to maneuver, and examples are easy to find.

One person was forced to turn around and drive a quarter mile the wrong way, down a one way road open only to crews clearing debris.

The same fate two young mothers face as they disregarded the signs as well.

"We're asking everybody to be patient. We're going to try to do this and get it finished as soon as possible," Buschor said.

"I think it's even more impressive with how hard the crews are working to get it all back open so we can enjoy it," Polito said.

The Parks and Rec Director says the other big obstacle in the way is the weather. He says if the rain stays away there is hope the greenway will be all open by this weekend. That may pose a problem as the rainy forecast doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.

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