Thursday July 18, 2013
This spring and early summer, Vermont has received record rainfall and plentiful flash flood warnings. This has resulted in water logged basements, washed out roads, and overly taxed drainage systems that aren’t accustomed to handling such high volumes of water. Residents in the Butler Farms and Oak Creek neighborhoods in South Burlington have seen their fair share of flooding this year, leading them to question whether that’s simply due to mother nature or a flaw in the neighborhood stormwater project that was completed by the City last year.
In response to growing concern, Council Chair Pam Mackenzie called a special meeting Tuesday, July 9 at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Mill Pond Lane and Moss Glen Lane to hear directly from homeowners. On the balmy early evening, Councilors Chris Shaw, and Pat Nowak joined Mackenzie and about 40 residents who had gathered on the green space at the intersection to voice their experiences.
Most residents present echoed similar concerns. For some Butler Drive homeowners, water from the nearby golf course has been running directly onto their property each time heavy rainfall occurs. Inadequate culverts were also cited as the primary issue, along with purported design flaws in the stormwater improvements which were recently completed.
Flooding was not limited to just one street, however; it was reported from several areas in the developments located off Hinesburg Road. Many residents said they had lived in the neighborhood for 25 years and had never experienced flooding, even during Tropical Storm Irene. “Our property values are diminishing since now we have to disclose there was flooding,” Jay Fayette said. Bill Rublee said that on July 5 he watched the water come up in his basement from every crack, while in the street, no water was going into the drain; in fact, it was coming back up.
There was a call to replace the culverts, but Interim City Manager Kevin Dorn pointed out that it would be extremely expensive to do so and cautioned against pinning the root cause of the flooding on any one thing before examining all of the potential culprits.
Before embarking on a walking tour of the area, Mackenzie asked residents to submit their photos and videos with their contact information to Kevin Dorn. She also informed the residents that although a date has yet to be set for a follow up meeting on this matter, one will be held as quickly as possible to identify what needs to be done to fix the problem(s).
SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent