When it rains…

By Susanna P. Barton
Resident Community News

Neighborhood flooding was an issue of concern last month on both sides of the river following brutal, persistent rainstorms during the summer months that have left streets and homes soaked.
A large group of residents and business owners poured into a City Hall conference room to discuss area flooding issues with District 14 City Councilman Jim Love. Nearly 30 local business leaders, city managers and public works officials attended the late August meeting.
Speakers were asked to state their name, location of residence and storm drainage or flooding issues. The concerns were similar and pervasive — and had reached a point of seriousness that demanded action.
Residents from Algonquin Avenue — including Denise Hudmon, builder Rick Morales and executive Jane Pomar — described the flooding that occurred recently from Robert Gordon to Chippewa avenues. Hudmon said her husband Scott and other neighbors had to wade through floodwaters to unstop drains near their home at Robert Gordon and Algonquin avenues. At-Large Councilman Greg Anderson, also a resident, said he was very concerned about the flooding and promised to work with Love and public works engineers to fix the problems.
Linda Strickland, a San Marco resident, rents her Boone Park residence and suspected a blockage under the bridge at Herschel Street may be causing some of the flooding on her property.
Bill Joyce, chief engineer with the city’s public works department, outlined the situation. He said there was about 30 inches of rain that fell in the neighborhood during a three-month period. The drainage system was designed to handle about four inches per hour and described the recent rains as the greatest rain event in the 18 years he’s been working with city drainage issues. After too much rain, the ground becomes saturated and increases runoff.
Joyce told the group there was $19 million allocated for maintenance and he would discuss the affected areas with engineers.
During a recent community meeting, District 5 City Councilwoman Lori Boyer underscored her concern about flooding and drainage issues across the city — particularly in the San Marco area, which has been prone to flooding for many years
She said a significant number of storm drains are clogged and she is working with public works to remedy that situation.
“We’ve had a lot of rain and high tides that didn’t drain out,” Boyer said. “To all those who are concerned about flooding, I hear you.”

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