AYDEN, N.C. (WNCT) – After flash floods swept through parts of Eastern North Carolina last week, some people had lots of flooding in their streets.
Residents in the Winchester Drive area in Ayden say this isn’t a new problem.
“This last time was the worse I’ve ever seen it which makes me think these issues are starting to get worse and not better,” said Eric Walls of Ayden.
Some Ayden residents say when it rains hard, they get flooding in their driveways, backyards, garages and even under houses.
“When the subdivision was created, it had a drainage ditch in the back which was a natural flow of the water, and it took care of the problem,” said Skip Stang, another Ayden resident.
The town later decided to take out the ditch and replace it with a pipe.
“The pipe didn’t really work much because Floyd came along and it flooded us out,” Stang said. “They finally found out because sink holes were developing and the pipe was filled with dirt. The water had nowhere to go. So then they take out the old pipe and replaced it with a bigger pipe. The water still has nowhere to go because there is no ditch for it to get it into.”
Now, not only is the flooding an inconvenience, but it’s also affecting some people’s livelihood. That’s especially true for Stang, who is living in his motor home because the flooding under the house left mildew.
“It’s up in the backyard, it’s into my shop, and I can’t leave with my motor home,” he said. “The motor home is not a pleasure toy, it’s for business. I travel around for work. So if I can’t get out, I can’t work.”
Some neighbors want a ditch to be put back, while some others are just asking the town to take better care of the pipe in place.
“The biggest thing I want from the town is just routine maintenance on the pipe,” Walls said. “Come out and check these things on a regular basis.”
Ayden Mayor Stephen Tripp said the flash flooding the town experienced last week was equal to a 50- to 100-year flooding event. He said regular maintenance is something the town will look into.
“I think we will examine all our pipes to ensure this time of year with hurricane season coming up to clean them out as much as possible,” Tripp said.
Ayden Town Commissioner Cindy Goff represents the Winchester Dr. area. She added in an email to 9OYS, “Storm water flooding is not unique to Ayden. It is a major concern and issue throughout Pitt County and Eastern NC. No system can possibly handle 2 to 4 inches of rain in a 1- to 2-hour span. The Ayden town board and staff take the issues and concerns of our citizens very seriously and strive to make improvements as expeditiously as possible.”