Pictured: June 30 flooding near The Flats on Todd Street in Carrboro
CARRBORO- The waters have receded following this summer’s massive flooding on June 30, but some Carrboro residents have said the problem will persist unless the Town makes some major changes to its infrastructure.
Carrboro Alderman member Jacquelyn Gist spoke at Tuesday’s board meeting about the flooding problems that continue to impact neighbors along Old Pittsboro Road.
“The type of rain event that we are getting is really changing. It is more intense. It is more often. I don’t know why it is happening, but I think I know why it is happening. I think we need to have a very serious conversation in the near future,” Gist said.
Over on South Greensboro Street, Carrboro officials condemned about two dozen homes at the Rocky Brook Mobile Home Park as a result of the June 30 rainstorm that dumped more than five inches in just a few hours.
“I don’t think that our infrastructure can handle this change. It was built towards a different type of rain event,” Gist said.
Several residents who live along Old Pittsboro Road, like Kelly Dimock, asked the Board to consider ways to mediate the problem.
“We’re talking about a massive amount of water,” Dimock said. “It would be physically impossible to leave our driveway certainly by foot but even by car when this happens. I just wanted to make sure that was clear, that it happens frequently, and that it is extreme. It is not just that water in the ditch.”
Neighbor Logan Kendall said the ditch Dimock referenced runs along Old Pittsboro Street. He said he feared the ditch also carried contaminants as a result of run-off from nearby businesses.
“This ditch ultimately deposits into a Morgan Creek tributary,” Kendall said. “The topography of the land is such that it is really a stream valley that unloads all of the stream water in from Carrboro just about, at least from the Central Business District from the south. Ultimately it goes through a huge culvert into the Rocky Brook Trailer Park.”
Town staff explained that maintenance for a majority of the ditch falls on the Town because it is in the public right of way. However, some of the ditch runs along private property.
Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton explained that if the Town tried diverting water from one area, it would lead to flooding in another area.
“Even if we had a brilliant plan for moving it [the water] faster off Old Pittsboro Road, what you are talking about is getting it down to Rocky Brook trailer park faster and even more dramatically,” Chilton said.
Chilton ultimately turned to the Town Staff, asking them to investigate the current infrastructure problems, then consult with OWASA, and return with a report to be presented at the September 17 Board meeting.