ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — Residents who live on Luke Street in Athens say flooding is a huge issue on their historic block — and recent rains are once again causing great concern.
City officials spent most of Monday in the area cleaning debris from ditches, but the residents say the new development and construction are causing the washout.
Luke Street resident Sharon Wilson told News 19 that the flooding from heavy rains last summer destroyed her heating and air-conditioning unit as well as insulation in her crawl space, trapping her and her mother inside their home.
“It messed up my heating and air conditioning unit. I didn’t have air and I didn’t have any heat,” said Wilson. “I had to end up getting a brand-new unit for thousands of dollars. No one from the City of Athens came out to Luke Street and see about it.”
Wilson and other residents fear that the predicted rainy days ahead will cause further flooding issues. They have taken their concerns to city council meetings while new construction continues around their historic block.
They say the flooding conditions seemed to have gotten much worse.
“Somebody needs to step up and tell the truth and answer and try to help and get it fixed,” Wilson continued.
Wilson said the flooding is so bad at times that she can’t get her elderly, disabled mother to her doctor appointments, and she is fearful that it could get worse this week.
Athens City Councilmember James Lucas said city officials and cleanup crews have been in the area throughout the day after cleaning the ditches. But residents claim the flooding isn’t caused by the condition of the ditches alone.
“Mr. Lucas was by here today to look at [the issue], but he came too early in the day,” Wilson explained. “He needs to come back later so he can see what’s going on, along with the mayor because it’s not over and it’s not fixed.”
A spokesperson for the mayor’s office confirmed to News 19 that city clean-up crews have removed debris from the ditches. Luke Street residents say the issue is much deeper.