Flooding Problems Not Washing Away

NOVEMBER 21, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:00 P.M. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- The issue of flooding just won't wash away for Jonesboro residents. The city council is working at ways to keep neighborhoods from getting in over their heads. This latest drainage project is just one of many the city is starting to tackle and the council says they finally feel like they're moving in the right direction.

Nakeyia Barrow lives along Owens Street in Jonesboro. She says every time in rains, even a little bit, you can expect a flood.

"It comes out the ditches into the yard most of the time. It gets up to the steps," says Barrow.

Like many of the residents along Owens Street, flooding is a constant worry and a major inconvenience.

"It's very frustrating. Like I said, you don't want to go anywhere because you're whole yard is flooded. Sometimes your car tire might get stuck in the yard because of all the water," says Barrow.

Just months after moving into their home, they soon realized they needed something to help with the flooding. That's when they decided to add gravel rock both in the driveway and in the yard.

Owens Street isn't the only street in Jonesboro with flooding problems, but Alderman John Street, who chair's the city's public works committee says it's definitely one of the worst.

"Currently, there is no drainage. The drainage that comes down Valley Drive and Owens is basically in the street. It was built that way when it was developed 35-40 years ago," says John Street, the Public Works Committee Chair.

Valley Drive and Owens Street both run along Culberhouse, just off Southwest Drive. Two homes on Valley Drive have already been purchased for the construction of a detention pond and now they're working on their plan for Owens. The committee met Tuesday to select a final plan for Owens Street from the NRS Engineering Firm to hopefully solve the flooding problem for these homeowners.

"We will purchase four homes there and build two detention ponds that will capture the water that is no ponding and flooding several homes in that area," says Street.

The two detention ponds for Owens will be both on the north and south ends of the street, where Owens meets with Culberhouse.

"We'll get them put in place and hopefully some of the citizens will get some relief from this," says Street.

The Public Works Committee made their selection for the plan Tuesday night, but the final draft won't be presented to the full council for approval until the December 5th meeting.