NEWTON GROVE — To stop flooding on Weeksdale Street, town leaders are continuing to make upgrades in the area.
For assistance, a request was previously made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to have a Hydrological & Hydraulic Study (H&H Study) for the street. A slope extension for a tunnel was suggested by FEMA officials for the street to have stronger infrastructure.
Commissioner Steve Jackson and other commissioners disagreed and made an unanimous decision to have an option to add a 48 inch tile, which was previously suggested. The culverts are used to become a tunnel for water under or next to the road.
Commissioner Cody Smith and others stressed that a FEMA study recommended a 90 inch pipe, but even with 15 inch rain, it will breach the road.
“We don’t too many 15-inch rains, but we do have 7 or 8 inch rains over the last few years, and it’s been backed up,” Jackson said regarding areas Weeksdale Street, U.S. Highway 1 and West Grove Street.
Before the decision, Town Clerk Amanda Turner read an email from engineers that reported that that even with larger culverts, road will overtop during a 10-, 25-, 5o- and 100-year flood. The term “100-year flood” is used for an area with an one percent chance of flooding any given year.
Jackson described the slope extension as adding Band-Aid to the problem.
“We got the opportunity here, why wouldn’t we want to invest and do it right,” Jackson said.
But during the meeting, commissioners said adding a larger tile will only solve a portion of the problem.
“It’s not going to back up as often,” Smith said.
Another previous suggestion was to install two 36 inch culverts for Weeksdale. FEMA provided funds for the H&H study and it was reported that about $8,000 will be given for the slope addition. The estimated cost of adding a larger pipe is about $16,000. This may leave the town having to pay the difference after FEMA gives their contribution, if approved.
Results of the request will be presented during a special meeting or at the August meeting.