St. Albans Flooding Fix: Neighbors Want More Action; Mayor Explains Process

ST. ALBANS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It has been nearly six months since high water swept through a neighborhood in St. Albans, but the frustrations over the problem are far from over.

Heavy rains flooded cars and basements on Monmouth Street in July, but that’s not the only time they’ve dealt with flooding.

“Any time it starts to rain, I’m looking to see where I’m gonna move the cars to and how quickly I gotta get to them,” resident Gary Hager said.

This past summer, it got so bad that neighbors started voicing their concerns at city hall.

“It's a complicated issue, but we're willing to help individuals when and where we can in those areas,” Mayor Dick Callaway said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has pointed out problem areas in streams that cause water to backup.

Because it runs through state and private properties, they have to get permits to do the work. Callaway said it gets even more complicated because work done on one portion of the stream could affect another area.

Callaway said there's no time frame for when the several-million dollar project will happen. That's frustrating for Hager who has lost two cars in high water.

“This is where we park every day,” Hager said about the street in front of his home.

“The wise part of the situation would be not to park in those areas,” Callaway said.

In fact, the city's insurance company sent a letter to some city officials stating the following: “Place 'No Parking' signs on or around 818 Monmouth Street where Gary Hager has collected twice for flooded vehicles. Also, enforcement of violations is the key to avoiding payment of future claims there.”

That’s less than ideal for Hager who must park on the street because he doesn’t have a driveway.

Hager plans to bring up the topic again at the next city council meeting, which is at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6. A safety meeting is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. that same evening.

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