Possible Lawsuit To Stop The Flooding

OIL TROUGH (KAIT) Only the lack of funds is stopping the citizens of Oil Trough from pursuing legal action to control the flooding in the town.

What have they done so far?

Billie Barber still keeps sandbags around her home in Oil Trough.

With the high water this March and April, Oil Trough was caught between a rock and a hard place.

First the water came from the South.

Barber, "All that water comes down to Oil Trough."

Then from the White river from the North which hits a levee on the North bank.

Barber, "When the water reaches there it's pushed back across the river and we've got the extra water and it all comes back into town. Now part of it comes in from the South side of town and some of it comes in from the North side of town here in front of city hall."

The town has suffered record floods in 82, 04 and of course this spring.

One of the problems Mrs. Barber told me about was this levee South of town. And though it's not very high what it did was force the water coming from the Southeast back into the town instead of letting it flow back into the river bottoms.

This levee and one on the North side of the river were built according to Barber against county flood control ordinances passed in 1987.

Barber, "Before you put up a levee or stop any water you are supposed to get a permit from the county and the OEM."

Mrs. Barber told me that talks with county officials had not gone well so further action has been considered. The first were petitions to the judge to have the levees removed. The lack of funds will be a major hold back.

They need to hire attorneys and hydrologists to study the levees and the flood problems. But for now.

Barber "What do I do?  Do I let my house float away, it looks like that's the problem."

There is a city council meeting being held next Monday and Barber is hopeful a source of funding will be found.