Archived Story

City works on flooding problem

Published 10:13pm Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Iron Creek residents, who have complained about intermittent flooding problems for about 10 years, may soon be getting some relief.
During its meeting Monday, Washington’s City Council instructed City Manager Josh Kay and city staff to prepare a plan to “muck out” a ditch that’s part of the flooding problem and present a proposed budget for the project to the council at its Oct. 8 meeting.
The council also said it intends to consider other long-term solutions as it seeks an immediate short-term solution.
Kay presented three options for the council to consider during its Monday meeting. One option called for “mucking out” the ditch — removing sediment and other items from the ditch so it can better carry water away from Iron Creek lots and roads. Kay said that option would have marginal effect on the problem. The estimated cost of this option is about $30 per linear foot, with the project entailing cleaning out up to about 1,000 feet of ditch.
The second option calls for building a pump station to pump floodwaters out of the subdivision. Although that option would have a positive effect on the problem, it would cost about $2 million, Kay said.
The third option would be to build a retention pond to store floodwaters until they could be removed by the existing drainage system in the Iron Creek area. That option would have an unknown effect, with the project costing about $500,000 to build the pond, plus cost of land needed for the pond, Kay said.
“Our recommendation is really the first option we gave. Look, it’s not going to solve the problem by any stretch of the imagination, and we know that,” Kay said.
Mayor Archie Jennings weighed in on the problem.
“I’d love to think that we could go muck out that ditch and help the folks at Iron Creek, but I think everybody up here knows the problem is bigger than that,” he said.
In those 10 years Iron Creek residents have complained, flooding and drainage problems have plagued the Iron Creek community, which is a part of the city. Iron Creek’s flooding and drainage problems have been blamed on ill-designed drainage ditches, beaver dams and the clogged Mitchell Branch on the south side of U.S. Highway 264. City public-works crews have done some work over the years, helping alleviate the problem.
City officials have informed Iron Creek residents some causes of the problem are out of the city’s jurisdiction and purview.

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