After a heavy rain, the water pooling around a Franklin woman’s home is like a moat.
There are no stormwater drains in the small Hezekiah McKinney subdivision where Mary Gent lives. Her home is the lowest in the neighborhood, so water either floods around her house or into a farm field to the north. Her property was flooded Wednesday after heavy downpours.
“I’m getting dumped on all the time,” Gent said. “In the swell between our homes, it pools. It’s full right now.”
Gent and about 25 other residents shared their drainage problems and concerns with city officials Wednesday, as Franklin gathers feedback for a stormwater master plan. That plan will identify problems with drainage in the city and then suggest projects that would fix the issues, said Andrew Cochrane of Whitaker Engineering, which is developing the plan.
The plan will prioritize projects based on criteria, such as how many people are affected or the potential damage that flooding in a creek or street can cause to nearby property, Cochrane said. Franklin can then use tax dollars or stormwater fees — a $5 fee property owners pay each month — to pay for construction, city engineer Travis Underhill said.
Residents raised concerns about what can be done to control the city’s two major waterways, Youngs Creek and Hurricane Creek. But they also discussed problems in their neighborhoods, such as water pooling in the road on North Jackson Street, slow-draining water at multiple intersections on Water Street, a retention pond that frequently overflows, and flooding near Davis Drive, which is just outside city limits.
Getting that feedback from
residents is important because they’re the most familiar with those smaller, neighborhood problems city officials might not see, Underhill said.
That’s been the case at the north end of Yandes Street, where resident Harvey Whitaker and auto shop owner Danny Popplewell said the streets drains don’t seem to work at all.
South of the railroad tracks the water drains fine, Whitaker said. But in front of his house, he can walk into inches of water that’s pooled on top of the drain inlets even after moderate rains, he said.
“It’s like that end of the road is forgotten. It’s pretty deep down there. You come off the porch and you’re in 3 inches of water,” he said.
In Gent’s subdivision, which has only six homes, she has to keep an eye on whether water is getting into her crawlspace and check to make sure her sump pump continues to work during storms. She said the water can stand for three or four days after a big storm.