Flooding key concern at SP council meeting

Published 10:06 am Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Residents want help for properities

SOUTH POINT — Several South Point residents showed up at Tuesday night’s council meeting to voice concerns over water damage from recent rains and flooding. For some, this isn’t a new problem.

Anita Lewis, of 512 Solida Road, one of the residents speaking out during the meeting, said this has been a problem at her residence for 23 years.

“Water comes down from Old Farm subdivision,” Lewis said. “(The village) put a drain in at the neighbor’s property. It’s too small and floods into my yard. This is years and years and years of water.”

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Lewis said she has had two sump pumps installed in her house over the years, but when the rains fell so hard on May 10, her basement wall collapsed.

Pat Leighty, administrator for the Village of South Point, told Lewis he would go to her residence on Wednesday to see what can be done.

“There’s a way to take the pressure off your property,” Leighty said. “I want to make the grade so the water won’t go to your house. This is temporary.”

An ideal fix would be larger drainage pipes across the village, but Leighty knows the amount of money that would take isn’t something the village has. And while financial grants would be extremely beneficial, there aren’t many to go around and even when they are available, it is lengthy process.

“It’s not easy to get grants,” Leighty said after the meeting. He said to get a grant to fix about one mile of eight-inch water lines in the village along County Road 1, Route 52 and on Third Avenue, it was a five-year process. That project is about 30 percent complete.

“We understand the problem and have known it,” Leighty said. “First, we will do a couple of things. We will get a grant-writer to write a grant for storm drains. And secondly, we’re going to handle some of the more serious problems with funds we’ve got.”

Mayor Ron West said the drains are cleaned routinely.

“We have been out there and cleaned out the drains,” West said. “There’s still a problem.”

As a temporary fix to the problem, Leighty said the village will do some grate work and keep water from going around property, like that of Lewis’. Leighty and West said this is something they have taken seriously.

“You wouldn’t believe how much work has been done in the past month,” Leighty said.

“The long-term plan is to get storm drains for the village for the people who need it,” Leighty added.

Financially, Leighty said Federal Emergency Management Agency would be able to assist most of the 22 structures in South Point that sustained water damage, but there is a special grant from FEMA that can assist people like Lewis whose property received structural damage.

“I hope Pat Leighty does what he says he’s going to do and fixes the problem,” Lewis said. “We’re out thousands and thousands of dollars the insurance isn’t going to pay.”