Drainage issues are not uncommon to Bay County especially with all of the rain we have seen this summer. But, in one neighborhood off Highway 231, residents are concerned that not enough is being done to help them. Details in this News 13 Problem Solver report.
In talking with residents who live along Nicole Boulevard in Cherokee Heights, it is a major drainage problem that goes back at least five years. Resident Will Powers says he has personally contacted Bay County officials about the issue and says , "I spoke to them a few times and at some point last year, around last august, they hired an engineering company to come out and assess the problem that we have.
Powers says this eyesore drainage issue is only getting worse. He tells News 13, "Absolutely, it is a safety concern. There are two schools two streets over Merritt Brown and Tommy Smith. These kids walk down this road people have to park on the side of the road or they have to step out into four inches of water to walk to the house." Powers pointed out at least four inches of water covering the section of sidewalk that runs in front of his home. He pointed out tadpoles in the water and says it never dries up. That is another problem with the section never really drying up, residents say the sidewalk can be deceiving.
Darlus Kinard says she and her husband were walking along Nicole Boulevard recently and took a wrong step on the sidewalk. Kinard tells us, "It didn't look slippery. It actually looked like sand as I started to approach the sidewalk. It was the equivalent to slipping on ice." But when she hit the algae covered sidewalk, Kinard went airborne falling back down and striking her head. She was taken to the emergency room for treatment of her injuries. Kinard says she is now recovering from a slight concussion, strains and sprains. Bay County crews placed barriers to close the problem section of the sidewalk after the fall.
This is not a new problem. It is noted Bay County is aware of it and has studied the drainage issues to determine what best to do about the situation. News 13 wanted to get the latest info on what might the next step might be.
Bay County's public information officer tells us it will not be an easy, quick repair. Valerie Sale says, "It is actually going to be a very involved project. It would require the elevation of the entire roadway. There are storm water drainage issues out there but there are also water table issues."
Sale says this is a problem the county inherited when the town of Cedar Grove disbanded and tells us, "As everyone knows we have been getting a tremendous amount of rain over the last few months so the ground is saturated. It is going to require an entire over hall of that roadway out there."
Sale says plans are still in the design phase now to improve and hopefully alleviate this problem. News 13 will keep you updated on that process as it unfolds.