Citizens seek relief from drainage woes
by MARK LEDBETTER
CHILDERSBURG —For many years residents on southwest end of 16th Avenue N.W. have sought relief from the water drainage problem that has plagued their end of the neighborhood.

Diane Jones has lived at 1605 16th Ave. N.W. since 1978 and has fought the rising water in her yard physically while petitioning city hall for relief.

A casual survey of the area reveals some obvious factors contributing to the flooding problem.

To the south of the neighborhood Martin Luther King Drive is higher than the neighborhood yards and blocks runoff, as does the wooded area separating 16th Avenue and 16th Court.

Jones said storm drains in her yard and in her neighbor’s yard across the street clog when there is a significant rain.

“I’ve put on boots and gotten a rake to try to unclog the drain,” Jones said.

Jones said she has watched the water rise in her front yard to the bricks bordering her flower bed.

Located between the 16th Avenue and 16th Court neighborhoods is a pond that fills with a heavy rain, and spills over its banks into the backyards of the houses adjacent to it.

“It turns our backyards into a river,” Jones said.

Jones said her neighbor’s basement on the corner often floods.

Jones’ neighbor, Sherry Cowlin, has lived at 1601 since 1973.

Cowlin said when the water stands in her back yard it seeps into her basement soaking the indoor/outdoor carpet she has placed in the basement.

“You get it shampooed and deodorized and keep going,” Cowlin said.

The pond is situated between houses on 16th Court and 16th Avenue N.W. with 16th Court elevation appearing slightly higher than the houses on 16th Avenue. The pond doesn’t have a drainage ditch and it catches runoff from both sides.

The deeper end is on the 16th Court side and has a film across the surface. In some areas trash and debris including a tire can be seen.

In Tuesday’s council meeting Childersburg Mayor B.J. Meeks ask Water and Sewer Board member Pat Wilson to share with the council and local residents attending a possible solution.

Wilson said the pond could be drained during the dry seasons and serve as a reservoir when it rains. Wilson suggested that pumps be installed to pump the water out and reserve the dry pond for water runoff.

Wilson said the plan could make significant changes in water drainage in and around the area and surrounding houses.

“It wouldn’t eliminate flooding for the whole area but for 10-25 houses this would be a big plus,” Wilson said.

Meeks said pumping the standing water out would also eliminate what he described as a “mosquito den.”

“This is the best idea I’ve heard in years,” Meeks said.

“I really wish they would fix it,” Cowlin said. “It is time to fix it.”

Contact Mark Ledbetter at mledbetter@dailyhome.com

© 2012