City of Valley hears more concerns on drainage issues

Published 8:19 am Wednesday, August 24, 2022

VALLEY — The Valley City Council is continuing to hear complaints from city residents about stormwater runoffs damaging their property. On Monday, the council denied requests for help made by Effie Wilkerson and Skip Kendrick, offered some help for John Webb and heard a complaint from 26th Street resident Suzan Rhodes of water washing across her property during periods of heavy rain.

The city has a longstanding policy of not doing any work on private property. That factored in to the denials of requests made by Wilkerson and Kendrick at the Aug. 8 meeting. They are able to help Webb because the drainage problem he is experiencing at his home on Fairwood Drive is on an existing easement the city has.

Mayor Leonard Riley told Webb the city would dig a ditch and put rock in it. This should help with the drainage problem near his driveway. At the Aug. 8 meeting, Webb complained that during a hard rain water from the street runs into hiss carport, damaging his property.

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Mrs. Wilkerson lives directly across Fairwood Drive from Webb. Work done on Webb’s side of the street could help her, too, since rainwater running through a pipe underneath the road starts on Webb’ side and ends up on her property. She has another problem in that a private contractor put up a privacy fence on her property. It was extended across a drainage ditch. This has caused debris to be blocked in Wilkerson’s yard creating a mess. In the previous meeting, city officials advised her to get with the contractor and get them to do that job the right way and not be responsible for messing up her yard.

Rhodes lives in the neighborhood behind Waffle House and Popeye’s on Highway 29. She told the council that she had recorded approximately five-and-a-half hours of videos showing what happens to her home and yard whenever it’s raining.

“It doesn’t have to be raining hard,” she said. “We have problems even in moderate rain. There’s no place for it to run except in our yards. The gutters that are there do not have the capacity to handle it. We are getting lots of runoffs from Highway 29 and from parking lots. My backyard it totally washed out.”

Rhodes added that the runoffs had come up over the foundation of a neighbor’s home and had been posing problems from other residents in the neighborhood.

“I check on the weather every day to see if it might rain,” she said. “I need to be prepared if it comes. I was in my backyard one night at 3 a.m. cleaning debris out of my yard that had washed in from the rain. One of my neighbors got four feet of water in her basement.”

One of the neighbors somehow got some live fish in their swimming pool.

“We are doing our best to keep it cleaned up, but I don’t know what we can do to stop it,” Rhodes said. “It’s too big of a problem for us to handle by ourselves.”

Planning & Development Director Travis Carter told the council he had been to the Rhodes home to look at the problem.

“She lives at the end of 26th Street,” he said. “For her, one inch of rain is equal to 2,000 gallons of water running near her house.”

Riley asked her if any of the nearby drains were stopped up. She said she didn’t think so but the problem is the existing drainage can’t handle massive amounts of water.

The mayor asked Public Works Director Patrick Bolt to go there to see if there’s anything the city can legally do to assist.