Citizens looking for help with flooding

Published 8:42 pm Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Stormwater runoff and flooding has been a recurring concern for local government officials, and the Bainbridge City Council has heard from several homeowners who have to cope with all the water, including some who addressed the council Tuesday evening.

Charles and Maybelle Miller, of 1100 Roy Street, said several homes in their neighborhood—which is roughly located between Lake Drive and Miller Avenue in West Bainbridge—experience problems with water inundating their yards after a significant rainfall event. The Millers, who have lived at their home for 25 years, said stormwater runoff has always been a problem that they believe has worsened in recent months, a sentiment shared by some of the neighbors in attendance at the Council meeting. The Millers said they observe water filling up a drainage pond off Lake Drive and then overflowing to their property.

City Engineer Jim York, who spoke at the request of Mayor Edward Reynolds, acknowledged work had recently been done in a nearby cemetery in an attempt to alleviate a water runoff problem affecting some of the burial plots. However, York said he did not believe the work had changed how the water flows to the Millers’ neighborhood, adding he based that view on topography maps.

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Another resident, Bennie King of 1205 Roy Street, said a ditch running underneath Lake Drive used to help capture stormwater runoff but was filled with concrete in recent years.

Mayor Reynolds asked York to investigate how the flooding in the Millers’ neighborhood might be reduced and report back to the council.

In January, York presented a commissioned study concerning stormwater runoff issues near Coyle Park off Boulevard Street. At issue was whether the city’s control of water levels in the pond made stormwater problems worse or not for a home on the south side of the park. Although finding the drainage system was “inadequate,” York contended the city did not itself contribute to the problem. The council opted to take no corrective action after considering potential costs and benefits.

After Tuesday’s meeting, Reynolds said city officials would do the best they could to help the Millers.

“There is a limitation to our resources, however,” Reynolds said. “You can’t take on an unlimited amount of water into a constrained space.”