Johnson Mayor Vows to Fix Flooding Problem

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With more rain in the forecast, Johnson city officials are trying to avoid the flooding like residents experienced last week.

Mayor Buddy Curry said Monday (Aug. 5) his solution for the problem begins by re-routing Little Sandy Creek.

Last week residents living at Blossom Hill Assisted Care Living Center were evacuated as flood waters reached waist high. Residents and others in that neighborhood were taken from the facility by boat to safety.

Johnson has long had a problem with flooding due to heavy rains. Curry says the more Fayetteville expands, the more runoff they get.

Right now the Little Sandy Creek hits the railroad tracks at a 90 degree angle which causes the flooding, according to Curry. Crews are currently building a bridge over Elmore Street that will re-route the creek.

“The water comes in and makes a turn and that’s usually what happens is, we got a lot of concrete barriers in there but it washes on over the tracks then eats under the track out and then the whole creek ends up flooding down Hewitt Street,” he said.

Curry says they will put boulders on the side and concrete at the bottom of the creek to re-route the creek. Utilities will also have to be relocated. Curry expects that to happen in the next couple of weeks.

Curry said he's been swamped with phone calls from residents asking what the city can do to help.

"Unfortunately our hands are tied, it`s private property I`m hoping that most of them had insurance, had flood insurance to cover it," said Curry.

Shellie Wingling the landlord of a duplex on Roxanne Place has been cleaning since last Wednesday, she said her tenants lost all of their belongings.

"Cars, pictures, memories, furniture, clothing, bedding everything, everything," said Wingling.

She said she is skeptical of the mayor's plan to fix it as the same thing was promised two years ago and the problem wasn't solved.

"If they can`t get it fixed then they need to do something, if it's buy all of these and bulldoze them down and make it swampland because a lot of times that`s what it is," said Wingling.

The project is expected to be completed by early September and Hewitt Street might have to be closed for a couple of days during construction.