Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Charlotte's Storm Water System Exposed

In a fun piece of investigative journalism WCNC's Dianne Gallagher and videographer James Capozzi did a little spelunking under Uptown Charlotte's streets.  The report points out something that "locals" have known all along that Charlotte's storm water system and storm drains are all interconnected.

The main idea of the report is that Charlotte is at risk because of an overwhelming lack of security with regards to the city's infrastructure. The complete WCNC report is here.

Yes it would be pretty easy to park your car at Freedom Park and causally walk along Charlotte's Little Sugar Creek then disappear into a tunnel and 30 minutes later you are standing in the middle of the DNC security zone undetected.

Overhead the street. Photo Credit Urban Explorer Aurelie Curie
But CMPD doesn't seem very concerned, their classic and predictable response:

 "While we do work very closely with our partners in storm water services, we are not going to divulge any security specifics or strategies."

In other words, "Whoa we didn't think of that."

Cedar's Take: The same applies to Charlotte Douglas International Airport and much of Charlotte. Back in the day, before Fairview Road was built, you could drive through the Sugar Creek sewage treatment plant as a short cut between SouthPark and South Blvd. The one lane bridge at the plant was the only way across Sugar Creek without going down to Archdale Drive and if you didn't mind the stink it would save you a good amount of time.

Charlotte's Urban Explorers will not be happy about the "revel" nothing like the news media spoiling your fun. More of UE Aurelie's photos here.

Major props to Ms. Gallagher for going where most of us would rather not. But those boots? Good thing the fashion police where nowhere to be found.


Anonymous said...

Cedar you worry me, only you would notice the woman's boots! Here we are talking about a terrorist weak spot just months before the nation shows up in Charlotte and you are concerned about the choice of footware.

On the other hand they are a really odd choice.

Anonymous said...

Those boots were SO, SO Green.

Anonymous said...

The story says they tracked their journey with an Iphone GPS app. I wouldn't think they could get a GPS signal down there.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how deep and the fast the water flow is in those tunnels when there is a big storm?

Are those boots watertight overboots for use by women? For use with high heels, no less, and need a second person (who maybe understands about deep water and how to properly lace the boots?) to lace them from the back?

Anonymous said...

OMG The boots are crazy, they are heels, rubber heels! Poor girl is worried about her height, that is sad.

Anonymous said...

non story here, cmpd has been aware of these tunnels and has maps of them for many, many years. I've spent quite a bit of time in them in the past my self. Blocking the entrances causes debris to be caught up during storms, causing a decreased water flow in a storm and an increase in flooding. Every major city has these same issues.

Anonymous said...

"non-story here" because CMPD has known about a potential threat for years and done nothing about it? even knowing there will be a presidential speech and national political convention coming...?
Stupid. You must be Tufano or Cunningham or Medlock. Or Monroe.

Saw someone on t.v. saying we should put up some sign. to stop the terrorists.

There are ways to block people, especially w/ equipment, w/o building up debris. Also, any debris can be cleaned out on a maintenance schedule much cheaper than what we could be dealing with.

Cedar Posts said...

What just hit me about this story is that with all the seasoned talent at the Observer and other local news stations, it took a 20 something-new hire who is not from Charlotte to let us know there is a hole in the DNC security plan.

Anonymous said...

Cedar you know WCNC only hired that bimbo Gallagher to be eye candy to compete with Fox Charlotte's blond bimbos.

Anonymous said...

I really hope the storm water system being as open as it is doesn't come as a big surprise to RoMo and Charlotte City leaders, but I get the feeling they are clueless and expected the Secert Service and CIA to save their butts. Well we know what kind of caves the Secert Service is looking for, and so count them out. The CIA is claiming that they do a good job by stopping an underware attack by their own guy. Why is it I don't feel safe?

Anonymous said...

Maybe some of ROMO's money he is spending on that helipad (secret.. shhh) on top of the LEC could be used to buy some bars to go across the opening.

stormwater said...

The place looks creepy! Anyhow, since they've finally notice it, they should do something about it already!