Originally created 08/20/00

Augusta flood critic way off base



Michael White's letter ("City to blame for flood lawsuits") is another example of his attitude that he is the No. 1 authority on flooding and drainage in the Augusta area.

He makes many bold statements that he obviously has given little thought to. He faults city officials for trying to put more money toward easing residents' flooding concerns. He suggests buying out flood prone homes, tearing them down and allowing no more to be built in those areas.

Obviously he hasn't the vaguest idea of what this could cost. And where do you stop? This would, without a doubt, bankrupt Augusta - killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Purchasing and removing all homes that could conceivably be included in this hair-brained scheme could easily approach a quarter of a billion (that's right - billion) dollars.

Being an elected official is quite often a thankless job, especially in Augusta. Every commissioner and the mayor constantly struggle over which problems need to be fixed first. They many times are stressed out trying to please the public and make the correct calls on budgeting, prioritizing spending and listening to recommendations of staff. Sometimes they must make unpopular calls.

Mr. White should know, but obviously doesn't, that if there was any cost- effective way to eliminate flooding he should apply his ideas worldwide. It is common practice in most engineering circles to design for a 50-year flood. It is not fiscally responsible to do more.

Is it Augusta officials' fault that on Oct. 12, 1990 and on June 20 water came over I-20? The design of I-20 complied with both federal and state requirements. The 1990 flood was 4.7 times a 100 year flood. Check the records. There have been many storms in the last 10 years, greater than a 50-year storm. Check it out...

Robert L. Clements, Louisville



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