Flood Relief Construction Disturbs Neighborhood - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/06/04

Flood Relief Construction Disturbs Neighborhood

How many times have you tried to fix one problem, and ended up with another? That's what's happening in one Savannah neighborhood. The city's building culverts to help reduce flooding in Ardsley Park, but the construction's causing all kinds of problems on East 56th Street.

People there here say it's impossible to live in the middle of a construction zone. Residents in Ardsley Park, just a few blocks away, say they sympathize but it is important to take care of the flood waters that affect their streets.

For Keisha Brantley, simply walking out of her house has become a daily chore. "The front way is how I normally get into my house, but now I can't go that way because they have it blocked off."

For the last few months, construction crews have been blocking most of East 55th Street to create culverts into Casey Canal.

Every morning at seven on the dot, Brantley wakes from her dreams only to find this a real life nightmare for everyone in and around her neighborhood. "Our house shakes every day, the windows are shaking, a lot of things in our house are broken and everything," she said.

Even getting the mail has become a major issue for residents because the construction is blocking their mailboxes. "We have to go look for the post carrier," said Brantley.

If all this construction was to help Brantley's neighborhood, she might be a little more understanding. But it's not.

Whenever it rains hard, Ardsley Park floods. Resident Christopher Nason told us, "It goes right down to the yards, gets flooded and clogged up. The earth just can't take all that water, just can't do it."

So culverts will carry the excess water from Ardsley Park into the Casey Canal. Nason says this new system is desperately needed. "It's necessary, but it's going to be a cost to the public and the city," he said. "But what choice do they have?"

"I don't see why we should be inconvenienced," said Brantley. "This is not for us. It's for other people."

We did speak with city liaison Susan Brojer, who was hired by the city to listen to neighborhood problems. She says in Brantley's case, the city has installed four new lights around her home, and the city is paying for a box so residents can receive their mail. The project should be finished in about two years.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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