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Columbia County Commission discusses rising water requirements

Posted: September 4, 2012 - 6:20pm  |  Updated: September 8, 2012 - 11:02pm

Twitter @StevenUhles

Columbia County commissioners were prompted to ponder the price of precipitation during Tuesday’s meeting.

Martinez resident Pam Williams approached the commission with concerns about the stormwater system near her home. She said the failure of a storm drain Aug. 7 caused extensive flooding, bringing more than two feet of water into her home.

It was at least the third time the drain failed, she said. The first was in 1995, before she moved in, and the second was in 2006. After the 2006 flood, she voiced her concerns to Columbia County officials, who were told by engineers dispatched by the county’s insurance company that the flooding was a unique occurrence caused by unusually heavy rain and the insurance company would not pay for damages. But the commission awarded Williams $18,000 for repairs.

The August flood was much more severe, Williams said. While the final damage figures are not in she said all the floors, duct work and four feet of drywall will need to be replaced. She said about 60 percent of the family’s furniture was ruined.

The county’s insurance company again sent engineers to look at the storm drain and, again, the flooding was deemed an anomaly.

“Unfortunately, our position is dictated by different factors,” commission Chairman Ron Cross said. “And our insurance company has declined this claim. I’m not saying I agree with this personally, but I don’t know of any other way around this.”

Commissioners asked why she had not bought flood insurance after the 2006 incident. She said she was told the property didn’t qualify.

Commissioner Trey Allen said that the commission is bound by procedure in such cases, but the members are not without compassion.

“I don’t think there is a single person here who isn’t heartsick,” he said. “But we do have procedures to follow. We will investi­gate to see what avenues, if any, can be pursued.”

While on the subject of stormwater, the commission approved $419,416 for stormwater and drainage improvements in Wynngate and on Kestwick Drive. It also approved other water projects, including nearly $2 million for booster station improvements and a water line project at Scotts Ferry.

In other business, the commission passed a motion to name the one-block street where the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce sits Business Boulevard. Commissioner Ron Thigpen joked that no study needed to be commissioned.

“This one cost zero,” he said with a laugh.

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Comments (2)


What is the motive in CC?

To develop housing projects on every single piece of real estate in the county. To this end, all of the flood maps are restructured as needed to allow for zoning as needed. Building house in the swamps and drain fields of CC is an ongoing and highly profitable process. Just don't get in the way of the CC engineering department. Not even the respected dead corpse of your grandfather can withstand their machines.

The rain and flooding are acts of God. Building a dam or diverting water's natural flow is not an act of God.

More rain taxes will cover their proverbial "butts". As did the first one.

And as for the statement of zero cost, no word or action of the CC commission is without cost to the taxpayers.

Sweet son

Didn't the US Weather Service...........

say that August of this year was the wettest on record! Act of God and greedy contractors!