Pelham residents flood city hall to seek damage help

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 8, 2003

More than 50 Pelham residents poured into city hall Monday night to seek help from city officials for draining problems in several neighborhoods.

Flash floods damaged some 80 homes when heavy rainfall dumped on Pelham during June.

Some residents claimed as much as five feet of water soaked their homes, damaging carpet and funiture.

Don Fox, president of the Saddle Run Homeowners Association, pleaded with the city council and Mayor Bobby Hayes for help to control drainage problems near his neighborhood.

&uot;It’s kind of sad to walk into people’s homes and the water is up to your knees,&uot; Fox said. &uot;It’s kind of sad to see people’s furniture floating in their house.&uot;

One Saddle Run resident said her air conditioner would have floated away if it wasn’t tied to the house.

&uot;That thing that’s supposed to catch water don’t catch a tea cup full,&uot; she said.

Saddle Run residents complained that a nearby holding pond has not been properly maintained and asked for the city’s assistance.

Mayor Hayes said the city would contract a worker to dredge out the holding pond, even though legally the surrounding homeowners are responsible for those duties.

Hayes said after the pond is cleaned, it will be up to the homeowners to maintain it.

&uot;It says on their plat map that they are responsible for that,&uot; Hayes said.

Hayes’ answers were not enough for some residents who questioned the city-approved drainage system and its approval of holding ponds for local developments.

Hayes said the city would do all it could to help but maintained the city was not legally responsible for the flash floods.

&uot;What you’re trying to say is that it’s somebody’s fault,&uot; Hayes said. &uot;We had five and a half inches of rain in an hour and a half. Ladies and gentlemen, you’re going to flood when that happens.

&uot;The city understands the problem,&uot; he said. &uot;We have agreed to do some things that the city attorney told us we probably shouldn’t do, but we’re doing them anyway.&uot;

Hayes said on Monday night he and the city engineer planned to spend Tuesday studying the sites that had flooded