Germantown residents rebuilding after flooding, blame city for damages

Germantown flooding (Source: WMC)
Germantown flooding (Source: WMC)
Updated: Jun. 11, 2019 at 5:19 AM CDT
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GERMANTOWN, Tenn. (WMC) - Rainfall over the last week has left several Mid-Southerns with flooded homes.

Jim Frost and other neighbors in coves off Brachton Avenue in Germantown spent the weekend trying to dry out their cars, and salvage what they could from their water logged homes.

Frost said his house filled with two and a half feet of water on Friday morning.

“A wall of water came in. But it was dark you couldn’t see it,” Frost said.

Frost and other neighbors suspect something was blocking a storm drain.

He says the water went down so rapidly that it was like a stopper had been pulled out of a tub.

Neighbors say the force of the receding water tore down fences and ripped up posts that were held in by concrete.

“Something was there to block it to cause the devastation that occurred in this area,” Richard Jones said.

Jones is a three decade resident of the neighborhood and says he’s never had a flooding issue, but Friday he had four feet of water in his house.

Flood victims addressed Mayor Mike Palazzolo and the Board of Alderman Monday night.

Longtime Germantown resident Ron Handwerker talked to city engineers about drainage issues in his neighborhood three weeks before heavy rain flooded his home.

“Promises, promises, promises, and that’s all we get,” he said. “I’m probably one of the lucky ones. I only have about $50,000 in damage.”

City officials say 106 homes have flood damage, and 20 residents lost cars or property.

Many like Shree Shanker say the city’s outdated infrastructure is to blame.

“Someplace that has accrued one foot of water accumulates six feet of water? That’s a man-made natural disaster,” he said.

Public Works Director Bo Mills told city leaders Germantown’s system worked as well as it could handling 10 inches of rain in a short span of time.

“I don’t think there was anything we could’ve done to prevent overflow on this particular event," Mills said.

Alderman Dean Massey suggested taking $6 million in funding from other areas in the proposed budget to pay for immediate drainage improvements.

“I think we should take the money fully fund these projects and not delay this anymore it should be a priority,” he said,

His colleagues not convinced that would help.

“This is just, you can argue, a 100 year, 1000 year whatever you want to call it event that we are not going to be able to overcome by throwing money at it,” Alderman Rocky Janda said.

“Someone should be responsible for all the damages that occurred,” Jones said.

Some victims say they haven’t ruled out legal action against the city to recoup their losses.

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