Vacall's AllJetVacs help Fayetteville, N.C., control the flooding caused by Hurricane Florence.
In the wake of Hurricane Florence in 2018, the Fayetteville, N.C., area faced a major challenge from flooding. Over 34 in. of rain fell in four days, and the Cape Fear River overflowed its banks. High-speed, fast-moving water and debris overwhelmed storm sewers and streets as the hurricane evolved into a tropical storm and then a tropical depression.
“When the strength and direction of the storm were determined, the city of Fayetteville called us ahead of time to commit to the use of our Vacall AllJetVac machines,” said Mark Barnett, vice president of Hydrostructures, a civil engineering firm involved in inspections, evaluations and pipeline cleaning with five locations in three states.
Hydrostructures has a longtime arrangement to handle Fayetteville sewer line maintenance, so both the city and the company understood how to work together to prepare for impending disaster.
“We worked 24 hours a day for six days to address the high water,” said Barnett. “That was just the first wave because the rivers didn’t really crest until a week and a half later, but in that time, we were able to get the flooding under control and then head further east to help in other areas.”
Hydrostructures, which owns 11 Vacall AllJetVac combination sewer maintenance machines, continually vacuumed and decanted water from flooded Fayetteville pump stations that had lost power or exceeded their capacities.
“Vacalls have more vacuum power, making them way more effective than pump trucks,” said Barnett. “Vacalls have eight-inch hose and a positive displacement pump, so I could make two or three truck runs for each run a pump truck could make.”
After the flooding problems were addressed and the river had crested, the Vacalls went back to the Fayetteville area to clear sand and debris from the water lines.