Residents voice complaints about localized flooding

By LARRY C. BOWERS Staff Writer
Posted 8/15/17

A group of Bradley County residents living in the Bates Pike, Lake View Road and Durkee Road area approached the Bradley Commission’s Road Committee Tuesday seeking assistance.

The residents …

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Residents voice complaints about localized flooding

Posted

A group of Bradley County residents living in the Bates Pike, Lake View Road and Durkee Road area approached the Bradley Commission’s Road Committee Tuesday seeking assistance.

The residents are seeking relief from severe flooding in the area along Cohutta Creek, but Road Superintendent Sandra Knight-Collins and members of committee emphasized the county can do little if the problem, or the creation of the problem, is not in county right of way.

The residential delegation, accompanied by the pastor of Lake View Church of God, was informed that the flooding difficulties should be addressed by the state.

The residents said they have approached the Tennessee Department of Transportation, but relief has not been forthcoming.

A spokesperson for the delegation began what turned out to be a slight debate by asking for an introduction of all committee members, and questioned Knight-Collins’ qualifications. Later in the meeting, she accused Commission Chairman Louie Alford of being rude, although he had not entered into the discussion.

She questioned who had installed drainage along APD 40, and was told it is in the state’s right of way.

The residents brought along photographs of the severe flooding which is plaguing residents, and told the committee, “We think you’ve inherited a mess!”

They also related all of the things they’ve been told, such as a nearby bridge is causing the problem, and beavers along the creek have changed the flow of the steam.

They said the flooding was not the only problem, but that there is in fact a tremendous amount of debris in the flooded stream. “It appears the county landfill flows through our property when it rains,” they said.

Their plea is to work together with the county on this problem, and perhaps find a solution. “We love Bradley County,” they said. “We want to work something out.”

The group was once again told nothing could be done if the problem was not in county right of way.

It seemed the group was mainly interested in soliciting the Road Committee’s assistance in bringing attention to their problem.

“We want you to combine with us and tell TDOT they’re flooding these residents,” the spokesperson said.

“All we can do is work in the county right of way,” repeated Collins. “If it is not county property, or is in the state right of way,” we can do nothing.”

Bradley County attorney Crystal Freiburg asked the group how long they have had this flooding problem. They said it has been five years or more, some saying as long as they have lived there.

Freiburg said it is obvious there is a problem, and suggested the residents go to the Bradley County Stormwater Board. “But, no county can go onto private property and use county dollars,” she added.

One resident, Misty Brown, said that when it is flooding, it is risky and dangerous to reach her home. She said they were told the bridge is causing the back-up.

The residents said they would give the county three feet of right of way to put in a new bridge. Collins said a new bridge would cost “mega dollars.” Freiburg and Collins said there were no current stormwater violations in the area, but added that the situation is being monitored by the Stormwater Board.

Committee Chair Robert Rominger said the state still needs to be contacted. “If they don’t answer us any quicker than they answer you, this will continue to be a problem,” he was told.

Committee members said they will attempt to get an engineer and state representative to next month’s meeting in relation to the problem. Collins said she was not sure the Road Committee is the body to discuss the problem. She suggested Bradley County Planning or Stormwater.

It was also pointed out that a majority of the homes were built prior to the construction of APD 40.

The pastor said the church was not impacted by the flooding, but that he was attending Monday’s meeting in support of the residents, and the community.

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