Residents voice concerns over flooding issues
Two Bay City residents voiced their disapproval over the city’s handling of drainage issues and flooding of neighborhoods during Thursday’s city council meeting.
Jerry Schmidt and Otis Justice both spoke out to council members during the public comments portion of Thursday’s meeting. Both were seeking answers as to why the city continues to flood during recent rain events in the city.
Two weeks ago, a tropical disturbance in the Gulf brought more than 10 inches of rain to Matagorda County and flooded several neighborhoods in the city’s limits.
“We have already flooded for the second time this year,” Schmidt said. “The latest is already our third flood this year. I would love to sit down with someone in the drainage department. This needs to be fixed.”
Justice spoke to council about the “disgust and disrespect” over the flooding in the city and the communities.
“Our loved ones are being exposed to environmental hazards with each flooding event in the city,” Justice said. “This is more than a life-changing event for some of us. It is difficult to determine the impact these flooding events are having on our citizens.
“We look to each and every one of your (city council members) to go out and protect our homes 365 days of each year,” Justice said. “This is taxing on us financial and mentally and all we can do is sit and cry with each drop of rain that floods our homes. We have to part with cherished memories and take them to the curb with each devastating flood. We want and need these flooding events to come to an end.”
Justice said the city’s drainage systems are full of debris that makes dealing with high amounts of rain more difficult since the drains are filled with items stopping the proper drainage.
“When I worked for the city, everyone used to say ‘well, that is just Bay City,’” Justice said. “It had a negative connotation meaning that was just the way it is here. They are right, this is Bay City and we can no longer accept the status quo anymore. I am not interested in what other cities are doing. We demand better and will accept nothing less than from our leaders and elected officials. This is Bay City and we deserve that.”
During Thursday’s council meeting, Director of Public Works Barry Calhoun informed council of the city’s intention to seek a community development block grant that is projected to be used for drainage improvements along Cottonwood Creek.
Calhoun said Bay City has been allotted $287,006 for the project that has a two-year span for completion once the grant is approved. This grant is being made available to cities from the Hurricane Harvey grants through the Texas General Land Office.