Ellis Street residents speak out about living conditions

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 6:51 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - For years, neighbors on Ellis Street say they’ve watched the foundation of their homes tilt and erode because of water falling off the Calhoun Expressway.

In commission last week, several of them teared up as they reminded city leaders about the issues.

The very next day, the commission sent a team to look at the damage.

The city says they’re taking immediate action to help those people living on Ellis Street, which includes recently scheduled cleanings around the area with Augusta Engineering and Environmental Services.

But for the homes themselves, it’s a different story.

“We can’t continue to live like this. I can’t sell the property or anything,” said Lois Johnson, Ellis Street resident.

Johnson has lived on Ellis Street for 25 years and is about to retire.

Despite soon being work free, she says the walls are caving in around her.

“By just living in the house, every day you see new changes in the house: separation of the flooring, the buckling,” said Johnson.

She says a trench is the only support system against flooding for water coming down from the Calhoun Expressway.

Water fills past this and into the yard. Sometimes sitting there for days, overtime eroding and warping the structure and foundation on the outside and inside.

Another resident, Janice Collins, said: “There just was no help. No help. No matter what we were trying to do or trying to show them.”

Collins lives just a few houses down from Johnson and says she has the same issue.

While Johnson has been visited by Risk Management and Commissioner Ben Hasan, Collins still has yet to be seen by anyone, even after being present at last week’s committee meeting.

She hopes after Tuesday, something might change.

Johnson asked: “I’m a taxpayer and we support the Augusta area. And when it’s coming time for the people to get help, who do we turn to?”

Tuesday, risk management will present their findings to city leaders, where residents hope the commission will vote to move forward on lending a hand in keeping their homes up.

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