LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — It’s not unusual for Lynn Haven to experience extensive flooding, even after moderate rain. 

The current storm water drainage system is mostly a network of dirt ditches next to roadways.

But, weeds and vegetation frequently cause clogging. 

“So a lot of this ditch here would clog up and it would back up about three blocks down to the west, preventing any flow from coming down to the east, to the bayou there,” Lynn Haven Director of Public Works Chris Lightfoot said. “It would fill up about half of the inverter, the pipe where you couldn’t even get water to flow through it.”

To address this problem the city planned to line the ditches with concrete. 

Lightfoot was evaluating the city’s options when he came across the concrete canvas.

Out of the box, the canvas is soft and mailable, just like a carpet, allowing crews to easily lay it throughout the trench. As soon as it gets wet the material solidifies becoming hard just like traditional concrete.

The department tested the product in a ditch on East 10th street. 

“The installation was about four hours we had about 10 crew members out here, including one of our crane trucks from our utility department Lightfoot said.  “And the crane would go along and set it and then our guys would screw it down and then use water, a water trailer, in the end, to soak it down and start hearing.”

In addition to being easier to install than traditional concrete, the canvas is also more cost-efficient. 

“It would have cost about $15,000 to do concrete in this that’s doing it the traditional form and for method versus the canvas who is about $6,500,” Lightfoot said.

Based on this first use, Lightfoot said they’ve decided to use it throughout the city.