Ossoff announces funds to fix flooding woes in Thomson

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 11:51 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2023 at 4:38 PM EST
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THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - For years, downtown Thomson has had a notorious flooding problem during storms, but federal funds could make it a thing of the past.

U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff came to town Friday to announce nearly $1 million in money to fix the problem.

“I want to make sure that a problem like this one — it’s been a problem for decades — gets the attention that Thompson residents deserve,” Ossoff said during a noon news conference with leaders from Thomson and other McDuffie County communities.

That’s a relief to people like Thomson resident Janet Roberts.

“At least we’ve got hope now that something is finally going to be done,” she said.

She moved onto First Avenue about five years ago.

A storm can turn her yard into a lake.

“I wouldn’t have bought this had I known it flooded,” she said.

“I’ve been on the street … in water almost to my knees several times.”

When it rains, families in downtown Thomson pray it’s just a small storm — not like one in July that brought nearly 4 inches of rain in a short time.

Whenever there’s rain, Roberts said, “It always makes me anxious.”

Lessie Burnley owns a business on First Avenue where a river forms out front when it rains.

“It’s like we’re out of business when it’s raining like that,” she said.

And now $965,000 in federal funding is going toward finally fixing the issue.

The city of Thomson plans an underground detention vault that will capture the water and slowly release it downstream.

The project is expected to be fully complete in 18 to 24 months.

Ossoff says it’s just a stepping stone to more projects in the state.

It’s important, he says, “because too often it’s the big metros that get all the attention.”

He says he read the letters families wrote to him about this issue, and this shows leaders are listening.