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Sen. Ossoff, Clayton Co. announce $2.6M for stormwater drainage upgrades

Sen. Ossoff announces $2.6M for stormwater drainage upgrades in Clayton Co.
Sen. Ossoff announces $2.6M for stormwater drainage upgrades in Clayton Co. 02:18

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. (WUPA) – U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff joined Clayton County officials on Monday to announce federal funding that will help resolve the ongoing issue of flooding in the area.

Barbara Lumpkin has lived in Riverdale for 25 years, and during that time, her home and other properties around Clayton County have been damaged by flooding.

"We have been having floods for a long, long time. It has gotten frustrating," said Lumpkin. Because my home sits at an angle, I'm closer to the creek than the majority of the homes on my street. My entire backyard floods. It gets in the crawl space. It has damaged my furnace."

Jon Ossoff
US Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) WUPA

The last flood happened within the last few years, causing mold and mildew to set inside the walls while triggering allergies and raising other health concerns.

That was the worst that I've ever seen. It was to the point it came up to my garage. Had it continued to rain, it would have gotten in my garage," Lumpkin said, describing how stormwater had damaged her air conditioning and storage units, and how her flood insurance did not cover the storage items. 

She said she is hoping those cloudy days will come to an end, after Monday's visit from U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga).

Neighbors heard from Ossoff and county officials at a press conference held at Frank Bailey Senior Center, where they announced Ossoff had secured $2.6 million to address the county's stormwater infrastructure issues.

"Because of the county's outstanding work, I was able to pass this through the Senate with overwhelming support, bipartisan support from Democrats and Republicans," Ossoff said, adding the funds are part of a push to improve water infrastructure across the state. "These funds will arrive to the county via the [Environmental Protection Agency]."

Officials say the project will include construction and restoration at certain Camp Creek tributaries, as well as drainage and floodplain restoration across the county.

"Our first priority will be to stop the flooding, and that's going to have to happen in multiple segments of the Camp Creek watershed," said Clayton County deputy chief operating officer Landry Merkison.

Officials and residents say Ossoff has been instrumental in moving the surge of issues in a better direction.

"It has been a positive thing, that somebody is finally hearing the residents of Clayton County," said Lumpkin.

The county is expected to receive the stormwater infrastructure upgrade funds from the EPA sometime during this fiscal year, and then they'll set a start and completion date for the project. 

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