Briarwood Circle residents remain frustrated with flooding - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

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Briarwood Circle residents remain frustrated with flooding

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By Megan Boatwright
Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - It's been nearly two weeks since we first visited Briarwood Circle.  Residents here say every time a heavy rain comes, their yards and homes flood.

They asked the city to look into it, so Channel 3 Eyewitness News Reporter Megan Boatwright spent the day finding out how the city plans to help them.

The neighborhood got 2 inches of rain in an hour the day before Memorial Day.

The Public Works Department is checking the infrastructure in the neighborhood, but isn't ruling out the possibility this might have been a one-time extreme event. 

"It has rained several days after that and the water has still come back up." The pictures of Danielle Mathis' yard and garage are hard to forget. Her car almost submerged, her yard like a lake.  Mathis says the duct work under her home washed away in the rainfall that Sunday.  And if it happens again she's afraid her porch will float away too.  "We need some type of assurance that it's gonna get fixed. This, I mean it's been happening for years."

But that's where she and city public works director Lee Norris disagree.  "We went out immediately within a couple of days," Norris says.

Since Mathis and five other Briarwood homeowners reported the incident, Norris and several city hydrologists have taken a closer look. 

"Had some of our crews walk up and down the creeks checking for blockage," Norris says.

They didn't find any, so now they're taking the next month to study. 

"We are also relooking the entire drainage system," he says.

The catch for now is Norris and his team aren't convinced the problem lies with the infrastructure.  They say 2 inches of rain in an hour would drown any system.  "Nothing is designed to handle that much water in that short time."

But Norris says if his team does find a problem, it will be fixed. "What we're gonna do is look at it and see if we do have some systemic problems then make a conscious plan to change those problems but again 2 inches of water in an hour is very intense."

All the while, Danielle Mathis and her neighbors are waiting, hoping and praying it doesn't rain.  "You need it to rain but you don't want it to because you are in fear that the water is gonna come back up."

Norris says he's also preparing a report he'll present to Councilman Gilbert within in the next to weeks.

After that, they plan on visiting and interviewing the briarwood homeowners in person. 

We'll keep you updated on what happens.

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