East Ridge to undergo flood study - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

East Ridge to undergo flood study

Posted: Updated:
Past flooding in East Ridge Past flooding in East Ridge

EAST RIDGE, HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- Every time we get a heavy rain, some East Ridge residents are flooded out of their homes. Now there is new hope for people living in the flood plain.

The federal government partially funded a levee for East Ridge years ago, but the matching portion, more than $6 million, was too steep for the city.

In the years since, more flooding but the wheels are turning that could lead to a new solution.

"Water up to here. My little dump place was flooded and nobody did a thing.  I lost everything I had," says Duane Smith.

That was because of the last bit of flooding in East Ridge in March of 2010.

In some areas of the city, it doesn't have to be 'the big one' like in 2003 or 2009 for major problems to arise.

Areas like Spring Creek Road, Fountainbleau Apartments, Shipp's RV Center, and Camp Jordan. Some who live here lost their homes and  some who play here felt the loss, too. 

"Well, we lost an entire season, just about, for playing soccer and all the field clean-up and cost it took to renovate the fields and reseed the fields," says Jenni Faires, who uses Camp Jordan.

"Stayed at home and waited for it to stop raining," says Jenni's daughter.

City manager Tim gobble says it's not all of East Ridge. Only about 15% of city's 8.8 square miles that's prone to flooding.  Block grants through the state have let them make some headway.

"The city has actually gone in and purchased homes that were in the floodway and flood plain that had been continuously flooding, torn down those houses and made green space so you don't have people constantly impacted.  But, that too is costly," says Gobble.

Now, Army Corps of Engineers will conduct a new flooding study and suggest new methods of remediation.

The federal government will pick up $100,000 of the tab and any solutions likely will not involve a levee.

"I think probably the money spent in the short run will certainly pay off in the long run," says Faires.

"Right, and if you can't fix the national debt, how are you gonna fix this?" asks Smith.

Gobble says the Army Corps of engineers has developed new methods over the last 20 years and levees are off the table.

The study is likely to take 6 to 10 months and the city is not obligated to enact anything they corps may suggest.

Powered by Frankly