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Friday rains cause flooding issues for some

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Jonathan Hoskins and Lorenzo White watched powerless from their front porch Friday as the rain fell and the rising water formed a 6-inch-deep moat around their Greene Street apartment complex.

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An SUV sprays water as it drives through the 200 block of Broad Street in east Augusta on Friday afternoon.   JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
An SUV sprays water as it drives through the 200 block of Broad Street in east Augusta on Friday afternoon.

“That should not happen,” White said, pointing to a pedestrian who was stranded in the middle of the road, unable to get to his home.

In one of the wettest summers in recent history, drainage problems continued to plague east Augusta residents Friday, with pools of water once again swallowing front yards, street gutters and neighborhood sidewalks in the 200 and 300 blocks of Broad Street and Laney-Walker Boulevard, lower sections of Wrightsboro Road and the Marion Homes subdivision.

District 1 Augusta Commission member Bill Fennoy said that the problem areas have been around for decades but that keeping storm drains free of debris might ease the problem in the short term.

“I think we’ve got two choices. We can either do the stormwater fee or we can wait on SPLOST 7 to get that taken care of,” Fennoy said, referring to the special purpose local option sales tax.

The city engineering department has been developing a stormwater fee program since last year, but implementing the fee requires commission approval. The fee will be based on a landowner’s square footage of impermeable surfaces such as driveways, roofs and parking lots, and nonprofit landowners are not exempt.

The city is in the early stages of formulating its seventh local option sales tax package to go before voters next year. The 1 percent sales tax package could be used to fund infrastructure improvements.

“The commission needs to put their heads together and do something,” Hoskins said. “We pay taxes and rent, but when we walk out our front door, we have nowhere to go. It makes no sense. Olde Town is a historical area, and it should be treated as such. I love my Augusta and want to see it improve.”

Marion Homes resident Ivy Herrington agreed, saying she is growing impatient. She said the city has marked certain streets for drainage improvements near her home off Fairhope Road but has yet to make any repairs.

While the wait continues, Herrington has to navigate front-door puddles, waterlogged yards and overflowing street gutters, a recurring experience she said is lowering her property’s value and her quality of life.

“Somebody needs to do something,” Herrington said. “The high water, and the many potholes in the area, tears up your car.”

Mie Lucas, the disaster preparedness coordinator for Richmond County, said the only reports her office fielded Friday involved an overhanging tree limb on An­tho­ny Road and minor flooding near where Laney-Walker Boulevard intersects Third and Fourth
streets.

She said the water was not flooding any yards or properties and was expected to subside late Friday, as long as the area does not experience any heavy, sustained rain.

“It is normal splash-up that’s affecting some low-lying roadways,” Lucas said.

Jeff Linton, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s West Columbia office, said Friday that Augusta had received 3 inches of rain at Augusta Regional Airport in the past 24 hours and that localized flooding was possible, especially with rain chances at 80 percent today and 60 percent Sunday. Linton said high temperatures, normally at 92 degrees this time of year, should remain between 65 and 70 degrees.

He urged motorists to drive with caution.

“It only takes a little water to move a vehicle,” he said.

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Little Lamb
43975
Points
Little Lamb 08/17/13 - 04:00 am
5
1
Exemptions

Susan McCord wrote:

The fee will be based on a landowner’s square footage of impermeable surfaces such as driveways, roofs and parking lots, and nonprofit landowners are not exempt.

We are now a nation where the dependent class is rising, and rising fast. The productive class is shrinking. The tough thing for the engineering department is to design a fee structure whereby only the top 30% pay the stormwater fee, and the bottom 70% are exempt.

deestafford
23966
Points
deestafford 08/17/13 - 06:14 am
4
0
Parts of Augusta is built in swamp/low lined areas

East Augusta and the medical complex are built in what were swamp and low lined areas. As a matter of fact, the medical complex is in an area that once was known as Frog Hollow. When you have areas like that heavy rains are going to cause problems. The same holds true when you live around streams.

corgimom
28276
Points
corgimom 08/17/13 - 06:41 am
2
0
Turn around, don't drown Your

Turn around, don't drown

Your car is not a boat

Turn around, don't drown

Your car, it will not float

They play that PSA ALL THE TIME where I live, and then people still try to drive through the floodwaters.

Young Fred
15752
Points
Young Fred 08/17/13 - 07:38 am
8
1
This excess water certainly

This excess water certainly presents a problem for many.

But being the nitpicker I am, I have to question this:

“...the rising water formed a 6-inch-deep moat around their Greene Street apartment complex. “That should not happen,” White said, pointing to a pedestrian who was stranded in the middle of the road, unable to get to his home”

Unable to get to his home? What, the 6 inch moat was too daunting, for a pedestrian?

I recall around '72 or '73 when we got about 13 inches of snow in parts of Aiken county. Nowadays I'm suspecting it'd be declared a federal disaster area. Everyone could sit home, freak out, and wait on the feds to come bail us out!

Good Lord! Have we no gumption left?

soapy_725
43555
Points
soapy_725 08/17/13 - 07:52 am
0
0
And all of the raw sewage is being bypassed to the river.
Unpublished

And all of the raw sewage is being bypassed to the river.

soapy_725
43555
Points
soapy_725 08/17/13 - 07:53 am
0
0
ARC engineers were absent from fluid mechanics classes
Unpublished

ARC engineers were absent from fluid mechanics classes

soapy_725
43555
Points
soapy_725 08/17/13 - 07:54 am
0
0
Wonder why the rich and educated live on the HILL?
Unpublished

Wonder why the rich and educated live on the HILL?

dichotomy
30741
Points
dichotomy 08/17/13 - 10:31 am
4
1
"The tough thing for the

"The tough thing for the engineering department is to design a fee structure"

They've already got this figured out. They want to tax the "ditch" people in the urban and suburban areas, on which they spend little or nothing to maintain, to foot the huge bill for the "pipes and drains" old city people and downtown areas. This will not be a stormwater tax....it will be a DITCH tax for those of us WHO DO NOT HAVE...AND NEVER WILL HAVE.....A STORMWATER SYSTEM. It's a DITCH TAX from a bunch of ignorant commissioners who have already taxed everything else and wasted the money and are now grasping at straws to fund the things THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN DOING ALL ALONG instead of buying that next piece of "all that glitters is gold" project. You know.....all of those things they build with OUR money and are so stupid they even screw us with the management deals they "negotiate".

It's the same old story. The "old city" pretty much collapsed. Consolidation was a bail out. But, for 17 years after consolidation they have spent our money on "all that glitters is gold" projects and FAILED to proved basic maintenance and services.

Now that they have committed ALL of our money to the "glitter" projects and have FAILED to fund BASIC services, THEY are turning to us for additional revenue TO DO WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY PAID THEM TO DO. An EXTRA tax to fix the pipes, an EXTRA tax to "police" downtown, and EXTRA tax to fix the roads and bridges, DOUBLING our garbage fee by giving us HALF the service, RAISING the water rates.

They have FUNNELED OUR MONEY TO THE BENEFIT AND CONTROL OF PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS, COMPANIES, AND 501 3c SHAM ORGANIZATIONS. OUR POLITICIANS HAVE LOST THEIR MINDS. You know it, I know it, every tax PAYER knows it.

They are getting their perks, their kickbacks, their skybox tickets, their taxpayer funded party trips, and SPENDING OUR MONEY while providing the WORST GOVERNMENT IN THE SOUTHEAST. And why haven't they been funding basic services with out tax money? Why are they continually blowing our money on the next "glittering gold" project? THERE IS NO GLORY, GRAFT, OR KICKBACKS in funding drain pipe repairs or road repairs....THERE IS NO GLORY, GRAFT, OR KICKBACKS in funding good police, fire, and ambulance services. They can only BENEFIT themselves with "all that glitters is gold" projects.

This "RAIN TAX" is just another way for some commissioners to get OTHER DISTRICTS to fund projects for THEIR DISTRICTS while they take trips and party with OUR money. It may be a Stormwater TAX for some, but for HALF THE COUNTY it's a DITCH TAX.

Speaking of taxes, have you heard any more about EQUALIZING our illegal DUAL PROPERTY TAX AND FEE SYSTEM from our local geniuses or Fred "what me worry" Russell. Or are they standing on their last statement that they are too stupid to fix it?

gargoyle
13618
Points
gargoyle 08/17/13 - 12:31 pm
1
0
Bill Fennoy after 3 inches of

Bill Fennoy after 3 inches of rain in six hours during one of the wettest summers in recent memory didn't miss the opportunity to call for raising taxes . No matter the event the bone heads that we put in office in lieu of planning answer seems to be the peasants need to increase funding. In the zoo of Augusta politics the White Elephants Downtown get feed no matter the condition of the 500 pound Gorilla called infrastructure .

Sweet son
9716
Points
Sweet son 08/17/13 - 01:39 pm
3
0
If You Build It!

In a swamp or a flood plain you should expect to get wet!

Pops
7031
Points
Pops 08/17/13 - 05:40 pm
1
0
Stop the presses

"While the wait continues, Herrington has to navigate front-door puddles, waterlogged yards and overflowing street gutters, a recurring experience she said is lowering her property’s value and her quality of life."

Please spend a bunch of money to help this Herrington person raise her quality of life.

dichotomy
30741
Points
dichotomy 08/17/13 - 05:49 pm
2
0
Why don't the fine citizens

Why don't the fine citizens of East Augusta ask their commissioners, past and present, how much drainage repair they could have gotten for all of the hotel/motel tax they've blown on Laney Walker redevelopment.....or the money blown in blackmail deal to get that money by approving all of the spending on the TEE center and parking deck. How much improvement could we have had in basic municipal services if our blackmailing, vote trading, skybox ticketing, conference trip partying commissioners hadn't bought into every "all that glitters is gold" PUBLICLY funded, PRIVATELY operated project that Paul Simon & associates have dreamed up for the past 17 years and paid them off to pass. Ask them that while you are jumping swampland to get into your homes.

Ask your commissioners why they need a NEW TAX to maintain something that they have supposed have been maintaining AND IMPROVING all of this time out of the money WE ALREADY PAY THEM. ASK THEM WHERE THE MONEY WENT. ASK THEM WHY THEY HAVE NOT BEEN DOING THEIR BASIC FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES. Ask them if you can go down and stay in Paul Simon & associates Marriott hotel while your homes are flooded....after all....he built it with our money which was never paid back. How many drainage problems could have been fixed in East Augusta for THAT $7 million dollars. Oh wait....probably NONE if it was handled by our Procurement Office. And first they would have had to pay someone $1/2 million to do a study about how to do it.

WHEN WILL OUR COMMISSIONERS START USING OUR MONEY TO PROVIDE US WITH BASIC, FUNDAMENTAL MUNICIPAL SERVICES INSTEAD OF ASKING FOR MORE MONEY TO DO WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN DOING IN THE FIRST PLACE? ASK THEM WHY WE SUFFER WHILE THEY TRAVEL AND PARTY?

corgimom
28276
Points
corgimom 08/17/13 - 07:00 pm
0
0
"Unable to get to his home?

"Unable to get to his home? What, the 6 inch moat was too daunting, for a pedestrian?"

During a flash flood, yes, 6" of water can knock you flat.

corgimom
28276
Points
corgimom 08/17/13 - 07:02 pm
0
0
This is why I wouldn't have a

This is why I wouldn't have a property in Olde Towne under any circumstances.

And anybody that buys a house there- well, the swamp was there first, what do you expect when you buy swampland?

corgimom
28276
Points
corgimom 08/17/13 - 07:08 pm
0
0
Ok, I'll tell you what I was

Ok, I'll tell you what I was told many, many, many years ago about Olde Towne. I was told this by a then-current County Commissioner.

The entire infrastructure of Olde Towne/Downtown is a terrible mess, and I do mean terrible. There is original plumbing down there, still.

Building and road and water and sewer codes didn't exist back then, and houses and roads were built anywhere that people wanted to put them.

They can't fix it. They would have such a mess on their hands. They don't even know what all is under the ground, there's lots under there that was never mapped, but they know it wouldn't be good. They know that there is still some wooden sewer pipes under there, from over 100 years ago.

They would have to rip up just about everything.

The money just isn't there, it never was, and never will be.

It would cost billions to fix it all and bring it up to present-day standards.

This is why every utility project in downtown takes forever- they don't know what's under there, it's all piecemeal, and they always run into problems.

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