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Joplin residents express concern over drainage issues, flooding

Joplin Drainage Issues

JOPLIN, Mo. - When it rains, it pours...

People living in a Joplin neighborhood are worried about flooding due to a drainage problem in the area.

Flooding issues have been especially treacherous this season for the City of Joplin.

On trash day, residents on South Florida Avenue cross their fingers, hoping for clear skies.

"Usually, if we know it's going to rain, we'll put our dumpsters up on the side...so we'll balance our trash cans up and hope that they don't get carried down the river, carried down the street," said Allison Riddle, who has lived in the neighborhood for the past eight years.

Riddle says that when it rains, water rushes down the street, essentially forming a river and a safety hazard.

"It seems very unsanitary and just dangerous. I would hate to see some kids playing down there sometime. I just think it's not a good situation."

Dan Johnson, Assistant Director of Public Works, says the city has been seeing an increased number of complaints this season as storm sewer systems are pushed to their limits.

"...90% chance that you're going to be fine each year, but I think everyone realizes this year is definitely one that falls in that 10% area. We've had some pretty intense storms and so you can expect to see some, what we call nuisance flooding," Johnson explained.

This particular neighborhood was set up with surface drainage because the terrain in the area wasn't steep enough to install pipes, but Johnson says there are other ways to help ease the flooding.

"If we concreted the channel in, that would increase the capacity. The concrete is smoother so it allows the water to travel faster, get more water through the same space."

The City of Joplin fixes problems based on a series of factors like safety, location and population, but Riddle hopes to see a change in her neighborhood soon.

"It is a concern and I know it bothers a lot of people around here."

The "Minor Systems Improvements" budget allocates $93,000 annually to projects like this. Other funding for public works projects comes from the stormwater sales tax.

 

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