Sylvester looks for flooding improvement -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Sylvester looks for flooding improvement

Mayor Bill Yearta Mayor Bill Yearta

Leaders in Sylvester are working to combat the city's flooding issues. Last week, some spots in and around Sylvester got nine inches of rain. The city has completed some flood prevention projects in recent years, and they're doing more now.

In 2005 Sylvester was hit hard by Hurricane Dennis. Since then, city leaders have been working hard to alleviate flooding problems. The army corps of engineers recently completed a study that laid out additional recommendations.

"We got nine and a half inches in town. Quite a bit of water in two days," said Mayor Bill Yearta.

 Flooding has been an issue in the community for years. In 2004, the city experienced a major flooding event, when Hurricane Dennis blew through. Dozens of folks were flooded out of their homes. "With that much rain your going to have an issue in the community," Yearta said.

 That year, the army corps of engineers got to work on an engineering plan to help prevent flooding. The finalized plan was presented to city leaders, outlining some of the top priorities that can help improve the storm water drainage system.

The top two projects on the list will be funded through SPLOST money. The first project is widening a culvert on Railroad Street, so water will flow through easier. Second on the list.. Putting a larger pipe on Madison and West Pope.

In the meantime, city officials have been replacing pipes and working to keep culverts and ditches free from debris. Officials recently purchased eight pieces of property hit hard in 2004 with a Flood Buyout Grant. Included in those buyouts are the West Street mobile home park, with 14 homes.

"They were the worst prone to flooding so with that flood grant to buy those properties out it took a lot of people out of harm's way."

Completing these storm water projects will help even more. "Our goal is to get the water out of town as efficiently as possible before anyone gets flooded."

City leaders say they're doing all they can to head off potential flooding events. Next up, they will bid out the top two projects on the list.

City leaders will search for grants to fund additional improvement projects on the list. The mayor says it will be a few months before they award a contract for more work.

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