Ellis Street residents will have to wait for relief from flooding
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Flooding during storms is an ongoing issue on Ellis Street that Harrisburg residents and commissioners say has been going on since the 2000s.
They thought they might be getting help soon, but it now it looks like that won’t happen until 2023.
Chalk it up to a misunderstanding.
A plan was submitted to the city for Tuesday’s Augusta Commission committee meetings to cut in half the amount of standing stormwater.
But city staff members say they still haven’t checked to determine whether the water is actually damaging the homes there.
But residents of those homes are pretty certain.
“I’m really upset about it because they had plenty of time to come out,” said Lois Johnson, who’s lived on Ellis Street for more than two decades.
“My insurance has been cut off because of this, and they won’t renew it until the problem is fixed,” she said. “I’m just upset with the city because they taking so long.”
People like Johnson say they’re tired of wading in their yards each time it rains.
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Johnson lives at the bottom of Ellis Street, and she says she complained multiple times about her driveway becoming a pool.
And she’s not alone.
“I don’t have any faith in it because it appears that there’s paralysis of analysis,” said Melvin Ivey, the pastor of Greater St. John Baptist Church who lives just up the street. “Everybody wants to do a study, and it’s constantly costing the city money.”
The street was originally supposed to be looked at back in August by the city Risk Management Department. At the time, Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. even chimed in for assistance.
“It’s a settling issue,” he said. “We need to resolve it.”
However, Takiyah Douse, interim city administrator, said:
“That wasn’t the path that was taken by this office, if that was the route which this body would’ve preferred to be taken, then that was misunderstood.”
The city staff is now asking for almost $60,000 for Cranston Engineering to take another month or more to do the job the Risk Management Department was supposed to.
Commissioners Jordan Johnson and Ben Hasan expressed their frustration on the new delay.
The plan to have the city revisit the issue isn’t a done deal yet.
The full Augusta Commission still must approve it, then it will be three to four weeks to look at the homes to confirm a problem.
People like Lois Johnson say they need less talk and more action from the city.
“When will the city buckle up and accept responsibility for this?” she asked.
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