Rendering of Venice Island project in Manayunk

WHYY's NewsWorks asked the question: How would the new Venice Island water basin have fared in Hurricane Irene?

If you were tuned in to local TV news over the weekend, you probably saw the situation in Manayunk: flooded roads near Main Street and Shurs Lane. Could the underground storage basin on nearby Venice Island—construction is just underway—have helped alleviate the flooding?

"At 400 feet long, 75 feet wide and 25 feet deep, the new basin will catch and temporarily store diverted storm flow from the sanitary sewer running along the Manayunk Canal. But would the new tank have prevented or lessened the hurricane-level flooding that doused part of Main Street over the weekend?

The short answer, officials say: Probably.

'This is a big tank but this was also a pretty good storm -- about 5 ½ inches over a 24-hour period,' [PWD spokeswoman Joanne] Dahme said in an email Monday. 'Without the modeling to confirm, we believe it would have worked well in this storm as rainfall was fairly steady, dispersed over a long period of time.'"

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