Ellis Street residents will have to wait for relief from flooding
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — Flooding during storms is an ongoing problem on Ellis Street that Harrisburg residents and commissioners say has been occurring since the 2000s.
They thought they might get help soon, but now it looks like that won’t happen until 2023.
Book it off with a misunderstanding.
The city was presented with a plan for Tuesday’s Augusta Commission committee meetings to halve the amount of standing rainwater.
But city officials said they still haven’t checked to see if the water is actually damaging homes there.
But residents of tube houses are pretty sure.
“I’m really upset about that because they’ve had a lot of time to get out,” said Lois Johnson, who has lived on Ellis Street for more than two decades.
“My insurance has been canceled for this reason and they will not renew it until the issue is resolved,” she said. “I’m just mad at the city for taking so long.”
People like Johnson say they’re tired of wading in their gardens every time it rains.
Johnson lives at the end of Ellis Street and she says she has complained several times about her driveway becoming a pool.
And she is not alone.
“I don’t believe in it because analysis seems paralyzed,” said Melvin Ivey, pastor of Greater St. John Baptist Church, who lives around the corner. “Everyone wants to study, and that constantly costs the city money.”
Originally, the road was to be examined by the city’s risk management office in August. Back then, Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. even reached out for help.
“It’s a clarification question,” he said. “We have to solve it.”
However, Takiyah Douse, interim city manager, said:
“That was not the path this office took, if that was the path this body would have preferred to take, then that was misunderstood.”
City officials are now asking nearly $60,000 for Cranston Engineering to take another month or more to complete the work the risk management department was supposed to do.
Commissioners Jordan Johnson and Ben Hasan expressed frustration at the renewed delay.
The plan for the city to take up the issue again is not yet decided.
The full Augusta Commission has yet to approve it, then it will take three to four weeks for homes to be reviewed to confirm an issue.
People like Lois Johnson say they need less talk and more action from the city.
“When is the city going to buckle up and take responsibility for this?” she asked.
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