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Flooding complaint resurfaces

Washington’s City Council knows when Iron Creek resident Charles Daniels will show up at a council meeting — after a heavy rain.
For nine years, Daniels and other Iron Creek residents have complained to the council about flooding in their subdivision in the wakes of those heavy rains. Daniels renewed his complaint at the council’s July 23 meeting. And again, city officials said they would try to help him and other Iron Creek residents.
In those nine years, flooding and drainage problems have plagued the Iron Creek community, which is a part of the city. Iron Creek’s flooding and drainage problems have been blamed on ill-designed drainage ditches, beaver dams and the clogged Mitchell Branch on the south side of U.S. Highway 264. City public-works crews have done some work over the years, helping alleviate the problem.
City officials have informed Iron Creek residents some causes of the problem are out of the city’s jurisdiction and purview.
“I’m here to talk about Iron Creek again. It’s getting worse. It’s not getting no better. We need some help, and we’re not getting any help,” Daniels told the council.
The flooding poses safety hazards and damages property, including vehicles, Daniels said.
“If there’s not going to be anything done — we’re at your guys’ mercy,” Daniels said.
“What I would ask the mayor to do is set up a study committee with the homeowners in Iron Creek and the staff and let’s see if we can’t get this resolved,” Councilman Bobby Roberson said. “I agree with you. Nine years is a long time. The problem is not going away. … Whether the city likes this or not, when you accept an innovative stormwater design, and that’s what we’ve got out there, there are no catch basins out there. … I think what we need to do as a City Council is to take a look and resolve this issue at Iron Creek once and for all.”
Councilman Edward Moultrie Jr. said he sees no need for a study committee when Iron Creek residents and the city know what’s causing the problem.
“I think we fix other areas around town. Iron Creek is a part of our city. We ought to be concerned with … their property,” he said. “We ought to come up with some kind of finances, something to see if we can rectify the problem, even if it’s not the city’s problem that’s causing the problem. Because you are a city resident, we ought to be more proactive and come to your rescue.”
Daniels said elderly people living in Iron Creek “are scared slam to death” when it comes to the flooding.
Councilman Richard Brooks said it’s time the city addressed the matter.
“When need to do something about it this year. We need to come together and get it done,” Brooks said.
“I’m glad the council is ready to take this on,” Jennings said.
The mayor said moving forward with the study committee makes sense because the city needs to know what’s in store for it when it comes to resolving the Iron Creek flooding problem.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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