Brock Johnson and his mother Norma live along West Third Street in Corning. Brock says they have been flash flood victims for eighteen years.
“When it floods…we get raw sewage in the house.”
The flooding is credited to Corning’s inadequate drainage system, which causes rain and runoff from surrounding neighborhoods to flood Johnson’s home with heavy rains. The system is almost two decades old. Johnson pleads for replacement.
“We’re talking thousands and thousands of dollars of property damage. That could be prevented if the city just does the right thing.”
Corning councilman Ray Vannoy is working on a new drainage solution for Johnson and his neighbors, who are flooded as well.
“We’ve installed a new trash pump that’ll pump between five and six thousand gallons a minute of water. And it’ll move the water to the east side of the tracks. The goal is to try to keep an inch and a half to two inches an hour of rain out of these houses,” said Vannoy.
However, there seems to be opposition.
Councilmen say the new drainage would run right through the cemetery and provide a thicker pipe beside the existing one. They add that Mayor Rob Young doesn’t approve, calling the cemetery grounds sacred. Northeast Arkansas News reached out to Young, and he had no comment.
Brock says he worries most about the impact frequent flooding will have on his mother. The floods can bring as much as much as ten inches of water in the home.
“The last flood after she evacuated she broke her back. My biggest concern is that it’s going to cause her health to deteriorate very quickly.”
New drainage requires a permit through the natural resources conservation service and would cost tax-payers between twenty and twenty-five thousand dollars.