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Open Storm Drain Poses Danger To Raleigh Neighborhood

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RALEIGH — Imagine walking your dog and your dog disappears down an open storm drain. It happened to a Raleigh woman, and she worries that a child could fall in too.

The storm drain is on Merrell Drive in southeast Raleigh near a parking lot where a lot of kids play. If you go too fast on a bike, throw a ball too far or take a step back without looking, you could fall 8 1/2 feet straight down.

"Kids after school, they're packed back here," says resident Adrian Griffin. "One of them is going to fall in here. It's going to happen sooner or later."

Jan Dunlap's dog fell in before she even realized it happened, and she had to get help to get her out.

"As I walk the dog, I see all these kids playing out here, little bitty kids, right out here playing, so I just think it's very, very dangerous," she says.

There is especially some concern when it rains because the hole fills with water.

"[The water] was right up clear to the top, so if a child had fallen in there, he would have simply drowned," says Dunlap.

Dunlap says she has been trying to get someone to cover the drain for months. She wrote two letters to the Raleigh Public Utilities Department and even called, but she never got a response.

"I'm amazed that no one seems to care," she says.

Dunlap and the parents who live around here say they just want it fixed.

Hours after 5 On Your Side contacted the property manager, a temporary grate, barricade and warning cones were put in place. The owner says that a new grate has to be ordered and should be installed by the end of the week.


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