Jonesboro’s stormwater management team is moving ahead with new plans to reduce flooding across all areas of the city. They include clearing land to create what officials call low-impact developments.
“When you cut the trees off and stuff, and build a structure, you’re gonna create water discharge,” says Rick Wyatt, who serves as chairman of Jonesboro’s Stormwater Management Board. “Typically, it runs off into the gutter. Which goes in to a drop-in box. And goes into the storm drain system.”
According to Jonesboro city leaders, plans could cost as much as 500 million dollars to bring to fruition. The plan requires collaboration between city and county leaders. If successful, it would keep rainwater away from streets and houses.
Jonesboro Streets Department Director Steve Tippitt says the flooding problem has only gotten worse due to a lack of public knowledge. Tippitt explains that aside from having to taking more of his workers off the roads to clean these ditches, they’re seeing more items in the ditches that they aren’t supposed to.
“The public is really bad about throwing their trash. Basketballs, trashcans, lawn furniture, and stuff like that that we have to get out to keep from stopping the pipes up,” adds Tippitt.
Jonesboro’s stormwater management plan is a slow-moving process. Tippit urges residents to dispose of their trash properly, before heavy rain hits.
“People has a tendency to clean their yard, and when they rake their leaves up, they rake it to the edge of the ditch, adds Tippitt. “If you’ll pull it out, before it gets stuck in there, it’ll keep you from flooding. And then just contact our office and we’ll come by and get it out of the area.”
Jonesboro’s city council is expected to approve the storm water management board’s new flood plans by mid-summer.