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Multiple Cleveland residents affected by flooding

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CLEVELAND, BRADLEY COUNTY (WRCB)-- On rainy days like today, Cleveland residents watch and wait, hoping Mother Nature will show mercy.

In September, flash flooding nearly killed a woman in Bradley County when she was swept away by a current on Harrison Pike.

Rescuers found her about 300 yards from her car, grasping onto a tree.

Dozens of homes flooded that day, and have again since.

More than a dozen roads in the city of Cleveland, alone, are prone to flooding.

City council members are now taking action, but residents on these streets tell Channel 3, it may not be enough.

September 5th, the day 16 inches of rain fell in Cleveland, Angie Christenbury captured video of raw sewage, filling her Pineview Drive home.

"The sewage was coming from the bathtub and the toilet," she says. "We had to throw away everything, all the cabinets, the appliances, the clothing."

The footage shows human waste spewing from a nearby manhole, and covering Angie's street.

It would happen twice that week, and today Angie is still trying to pay for the damage the utility company wouldn't cover.

"My deductibles are $5,000 for the building and $5,000 for contents," Angie says. "And, flood insurance is outrageous! Just to get that deductible, I have to pay $11,000 a year."

Across town, a rainy day has Vitaliy Kondor on edge.

He hasn't had to deal with sewage, but heavy rain causes a nearby creek to spill its banks.

His home has flooded twice this year.

"With Cleveland getting more paved places, the water has nowhere else to go but our back yards," says Vitaliy Kondor.

The Cleveland City Council voted Monday to use $200,000 from the general fund to pay for a floodplain study, after hearing dozens of similar stories.

The Army Corps of Engineers will draw up new flood maps to determine the city's next step.

But Councilman George Poe says these problems go back decades, and won't be easy to fix.

"Some places were built in flood zones and in 100-year flood plains," Poe says. "Nobody did anything about it back then."

Poe is proposing a retention pond to help Christenbury's neighborhood.

But the city has identified 13 problem areas, leaving a lot of Cleveland residents waiting for a lifeboat, and crossing their fingers every time it rains.

"It would be nice for something to be done about it to where I could keep on living here," says Kondor.

Allocating the money is only the first step for city leaders.

Bottom line: there is no time frame for when Cleveland's flooding problems will be solved.

But council members say they hope their vote sends a message to citizens, that they are trying to fix the problem.

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