10/04/05 — Officials will talk about flooding

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Officials will talk about flooding

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 4, 2005 1:45 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Residents and lawmakers will meet with environmental officials this month to find a solution to flooding in Mount Olive.

Mount Olive officials said during a town board meeting Monday that years ago a stream was diverted, and that caused drainage problems in parts of town like Crest Drive, Valley Road, Smith Chapel Road and Ridge Crest Drive.

And this is not the first time the city has discussed flooding issues, either, said Richard Archambault of Smith Chapel Road during the public comment section of the meeting.

The board was discussing flooding problems 25 years ago today, he said.

"I hope in the next 25 years we're not discussing the same thing," he added.

Town Manager Ray McDonald said the committee needs to meet with state environmental officials. They have been in New Orleans and are expected to return Saturday. He said state officials also want lawmakers involved in the meeting.

Rep. Louis Pate and Sen. John Kerr have offered to attend and help in any way they can.

The solution appears to be to clean out Thunder Swamp so it can handle the diverted flow, Mount Olive officials said.

The town's engineers recommended re-routing the stream several years ago, but the town learned previously that rerouting a body of water to solve one problem can cause another.

He said the residents downstream have come to him asking the town not to create a problem for them. They want the swamp cleaned, he said.

McDonald said the town's engineers now want to clean out the swamp to make sure another problem doesn't arise for residents downstream when they divert the stream again in another direction.