Fort Benning talks noise control with Columbus neighbors -, GA News Weather & Sports

Fort Benning talks noise control with Columbus neighbors

Some Columbus residents are asking Fort Benning to put a stop to what they say is more than just a noisy problem.  A few who live near the Army installation say the training noises are compromising their way of life.         

Blast from tanks, mortars, rifles, and more: This is what so many people in the Midland and Upatoi area say they hear at all hours of the day, and they say it has been a problem for a while.

"Their lives are changed by it.  Damage to their homes, the loud noise bothers them for sleep, the loud noise bothers their pets to a serious degree, it has affected re-sale and property values," said Terry Gumbert, a Midland resident.

Gumbert says his Midland home shakes so much from the firing on Fort Benning that the pictures fall off his walls.  He says he and some of his neighbors want answers from the Army installation.

Thursday, Fort Benning invited anyone to a live fire demonstration on post and town hall meeting.  That way people could see the training that creates the noise, and then, there were able to talk about the concerns with Fort Benning officials. 

Several people in the meeting talked about damages, like cracks in the foundation, to their homes, emotional stress from the noise, and more.

"I'm concerned about my real estate value.  I'm concerned about my home, and I'm glad to see that you're concerned about it," said Upatoi resident David Edwards to Fort Benning representatives on Thursday.

"I think we are moving in the right direction.  There was a lot of sharing of information, and when you have that kind of dialogue, I think only good things come from it," said Colonel Jeffrey Fletcher, Fort Benning Garrison Commander. 

Fletcher says training must continue even at night to make sure soldiers are ready for combat, but he says they do want to help.

He says they are working on ways to ease the problem.  For example, Fort Benning has planted 300 six foot tall trees and 10,000 little trees in the Chattsworth Road area to act as a natural sound screen.

Gumbert says this is not an attack on the soldiers of Fort Benning, but he and his neighbors are just looking for a compromise.

"We recognize the fact that the people at Fort Benning really are just following their orders."

If you do any damages to your home or even if your pet is suffering from the noise Colonel Fletcher says you can contact their claims department at 706-545-8834.

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