By Nick Austin, Meteorologist / Reporter - bio | email
CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB-TV) -- "We've had flooding problems in Cleveland since there's been a Cleveland," says city councilman Bill Estes. This is why he says the city had to vote for a flood study.
"As Cleveland grows, and as we've been annexing, and industry and development and residences are changing--we had to do this," explains Estes.
Resident Angie Christenbury agrees and thanks the city for taking this big step.
"They were following through on that and we do appreciate everything they have done," says Christenbury. But she also says all the growth and expansion, along with an inadequate sewer system, are why the flooding occurs.
Her home and property on the corner of Gale Drive and Pineview Drive sustained major damage last year after two heavy rainfalls, almost one right after the other, caused major flooding. She says the sewer backed up, then overflowed, and water rose above her five foot high fence. She's taken her concerns to city council numerous times to be a voice for her neighborhood.
"Every day there are more and more permits issued for new construction and it just seems to all back up over here on us," Christenbury says with concern.
Estes says it will simply take time and the city can't be hasty. The engineers will have to update maps and he wants the city to get all the correct data so it spend its money wisely before permanent fixed are put in place.
"We can't go in and widen ditches or make new drains because we just don't know how it will affect other people downstream or other people upstream," explains Estes.
Christenbury tries to wait it out but hopes the study begins sooner rather than later.
"I want answers. I need to know what's going on and they said this is going to take years and I'm not a patient person," says Christenbury with a chuckle.
The study will include 26 miles of South Mouse Creek and 42 miles of Candies Creek. Once the study begins, the date of which will be determined by the Corps of Engineers, it could take up to two years to complete. Recommended measures could include channel modifications, the building of walls, clearing waterways, bridge replacement, water diversion, and more retention ponds.
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