Flood Victims Out of Luck - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports


Flood Victims Out of Luck

By Lindsey Connell - bio | e-mail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  "Quit saying what you can't do. At least make an effort to do something!"

Columbus residents react to a presentation given by the City Engineering Department on recent flood damage.

Out of the 65,000 households in Muscogee County, 21 were flooded on February 28th and some again this past weekend when our area was hit with heavy rains.

"This city has never accepted responsibility for flood damage. We've had floods in 1973, 1999 and 2009," said City Manager Isaiah Hughley.

But property owners say it was the city's antiquated storm drainage system that played a big part in the damage they're still dealing with.

"I don't feel that's right. If they've taken responsibility to say that it is a drainage problem, I think they need to take some type of responsibility monetarily to those homeowners who had damage and had to have things replaced," said Andrea Shields, a property owner on Artillery Drive.

The city is going to bring in engineering consultants to look at long term solutions and the price tag that comes with them.

In the meantime, the city encourages folks to keep their yards clear of debris and to get flood insurance.

Mayor Jim Wetherington say he knows not everyone can afford it.

"There's a lot of people hurting out there because they can't deal with the water problem and somewhere along the way the city is going to have to step up to the plate and say we need to do something about it," he added.

The city is currently doing a Flood Abatement Project on 6th Avenue. The price tag for that is $40 million.

The engineering consultants hired by the city will present long term solutions to council.

Members will then have to decide how to fund them.

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