Study: Insufficient pipe sizes cause of Maple, Carver Drive flooding

October 20, 2011 11:08:00 AM

David Miller -

 

The Starkville Board of Aldermen has a better understanding of two long-standing trouble spots for storm water drainage after Tuesday's meeting. How to solve each issue will be a "process" moving forward. 

 

The board received the results of an engineering study on flooding issues at Maple Drive and Carver Drive conducted by Pepper-Wooten Engineers. Engineer Jason Wooten said flooding issues in both areas are caused by insufficient pipe sizes that cause headwater to build up and spill. 

 

In the case of Maple Drive in the Green Oaks subdivision, the drainage ditch that's south of the street is sufficient, but the storm water pipes that tie the ditch to Maple Drive can't handle the type of storm that a city would likely see several times a year. 

 

"So we propose either upsizing all the pipes along Maple Drive or routing a new storm sewer away from it," Wooten said. "If you increase capacity and excavate the current pipe with larger pipe, you won't have to obtain drainage easements on residential property. But there's telephone, water and sanitary sewer areas in there you'd have to contend with during construction." 

 

City Engineer Edward Kemp said increasing pipe capacity would cost about $150,000 more than bypassing the current system. 

 

Susan Shappley, who owns a home on Maple Drive, said flooding has been an issue there for 40 years. She doesn't live in the home because the flooding has caused mold. 

 

"I've listened to this stuff for 40 years," Shappley said. "Fortunately, I took out flood insurance two years ago." 

 

Shappley said she was disappointed to leave Tuesday's meeting without a concrete resolution to the problem. 

 

Mayor Parker Wiseman said the engineering study is part of fixing the problem. 

 

"The city engineer will work to provide anticipated costs of implementing different alternatives that the consultant recommended," Wiseman said. "Then it becomes a matter of policy for both drainage issues." 

 

At Carver Drive, where residents have experienced street flooding accompanied by sewage smell, the city must apply for a Letter of Map Revision with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. During a recent visit to Starkville, FEMA, which surveys cities and determines if they qualify for the national flood insurance program, determined Carver Drive's flooding and drainage plans had been altered from original record. 

 

Wooten said his study addressed issues to satisfy concerns FEMA may have about the drainage alterations in the flood zone. 

 

Wooten determined the culvert at Reed Road and Hospital Road is undersized, causing Reed Road to flood. Additionally, there's a corrugated pipe upstream that doesn't have enough capacity. Wooten said that peak flow during a storm causes headwater to build up behind both pipes and spill into Carver Drive. 

 

Wooten said options include adding additional pipes alongside the current 450 feet of pipe in the area to help ease the water flow or increasing the size of the pipe downstream near the flood point and cover the ditch. 

 

"In any case, you have to address the upstream issue before you address anything downstream," Wooten said. 

 

Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins requested cost estimates on how to proceed with the Carver Drive flooding issue.