Council gets update on drainage projects

Published 6:05 pm Sunday, July 29, 2018

Washington is making progress on addressing drainage and flooding problems, according to Adam Waters, the city’s public-works director, but related challengers remain.

Waters presented an update on drainage/flooding projects to the City Council during its July 9 quarterly planning session.

“Currently, the city maintains a little over 12 miles of open ditches. These ditches are maintained by one equipment operator and three and half maintenance workers. The maintenance we typically perform on a routine basis is trimming the ditches, mowing, debris removal and some minor sediment removal,” Water said. “Since this goal was set forth in April, some of the major projects that we have done with outside vendors include the cleaning of 4,100 feet of roadside ditches in the Northgate subdivision, which is located in the Mitchell Branch basin, the cleaning of 1,200 feet of ditch along the Airport Canal, in the Cherry Run basin, 2,500 feet of ditch between Reed Drive and Keysville Road in the Runyon Creek Basin, and we have also completed some drainage improvements along Hodges Street, which has increased storage capacity in … the Runyon Creek Basin.,” Waters said.

Additionally, the city has commissioned a drainage study of the Kennedy Creek Basin to identify flooding issues in the Kinston and West Fourth street area, Waters noted.

“Moving forward, we are going to continue our efforts to maintain and improvement the drainage ways within the city’s control,” Waters said.

The city must focus on enforcing drainage easements as a partial solution to drainage improvements in the city by making sure property owners do their part in helping the city properly maintaining drainage ditches, Waters said. In some cases, structures were built over ditches, obstructing access to those ditches for maintenance work.

Waters also said the city is working with other agencies such as the N.C. Department of Transportation to address drainage issues. DOT is doing things such as installing larger drainage pipes to improve the flow of water, he said.

Mayor Mac Hodges asked Waters of homeowners have indicated their willingness to allow the city to come on their properties and perform ditch maintenance. Waters said some homeowners have said they would allow that to happen.

Councilman Doug Mercer questioned the need for ditch maintenance in Northgate subdivision. Waters told Mercer the city has received a lot of complaints about flooding in Northgate.

“It sounds like you’re getting a handle on the areas that we need to deal with. … I assume this is going to be ongoing reports,” Councilman Roland Wyman said to Waters, who confirmed the council would receive regular reports concerning drainage/flooding issues in the city.

“Drainage is a big issue for Washington, and that is one of the things I want to make sure we are improving,” Waters said.





About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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