Flood waters stay at bay

Storm Drainage Program Working

Craven County - Betty Toler has watched her backyard flood like clockwork. The rains come down, the floods go up, and the damages soar. In the past year and a half, run off from Neuse Boulevard has cost her $46,000 in damage.

"When it gets in here and gets up to the backs of your windows here this high," said Toler pointing about a foot off the ground, "that's a lot of water."

The water affected three lawns adjacent to a forest that lines Neuse Boulevard. But Toler always got the heaviest blow.

"When it starts coming in it comes between those two sheds right there and it all comes on us."

Toler says she submitted plenty of complaints of flooding to the City of New Bern. And in June, she got a big surprise. The new storm drainage plan had selected the flooding near her house as one of the problem spots in the city. For a week, a crew worked to establish a new ditch hidden in the forest near her property. This ditch now conveys water swiftly away from Neuse Blvd. and out of private property.

"Now you see its been raining, usually this is all standing full of water, I haven't had any water." said Toler.

The new storm drainage program has renovated dozens of ditches and drainage areas like the one near Toler in the past few months.

Each year, along with continual maintenance, a big project will be selected. This year, Trent Village was completely gutted and refurbished. This cost a total of $80,000.

Since the project has started, a Public Works Employee says the number of phone calls reporting flooding have gone down. However, the drier fall weather may contribute to that reduction a great deal.

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