City can’t decide if flooding is a problem, residents know it is

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 2:27 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta leaders spent more than $50,000 to extend a study on whether flooding during storms is a problem in Harrisburg – even though the city had already spent money to try to fix the problem, according to documents obtained by News 12.

Work orders reveal at least 14 projects ranging from cleaning storm structures to replacement, removal or inspections of the structures, dating from April 2021 to August 2022.

That was before the city staff asked the Augusta Commission in November for almost $60,000 for Cranston Engineering to take another month or more on a study.

The city voted to spend money on extending the study after a plan was submitted to cut in half the amount of standing stormwater that’s blamed at least in part on runoff from the Calhoun Expressway.

But city staff members say they still hadn’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,” Lois Johnson said in November

She’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.


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.”

People like 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.