Well, there I am. Right on the front page of the Greenville Cage liner, with a somewhat bewildered look on my face, and a quote from me about County Council continuing to approve building projects that will adversely affect the flooding situation in our neighborhood. One of our neighbors contacted Representative Gloria Haskins, who arranged a meeting with county officials, DOT, and several others. About 30 of us crowded into Cathy Parker’s small living room to listen to various officials point fingers and dodge responsibility.
Mike Davis did a great job with his 60 second overview of the history of the lake. According to him, the lake started filling in back in the 1960s. However, several long-time residents contend that the first problems started with construction of K-Mart on Wade Hampton in the 70s. I know from observation that the recent construction on Pelham Road (Publix, condos, etc.) has sent tons of silt into the lake. Laura says that she can tell from which direction the rain is coming by watching which stream turns red with mud first. If it’s the close shore and Brushy Creek, the rain is coming from the West, Northwest. If it’s McCarter Creek, then the rain is coming from the West, Southwest.
Several other residents voiced concerns. Wallace Smith stated that he had just sold his house in the flood plain for only $40,000. What makes me truly sad is that the new owner is a speculator who is trying to resell it. That owner may have the house bought by the County for fair market value, which would be at least four times that price. However, after years of this with no relief, Mr. Smith just gave up. Linda Walker seemed to be one of the most frustrated. She talked about how the floods from a regular rain drowned her dog, and about how it didn’t take much to inundate her house.
When I spoke up about council’s continuing to approve building plans, the cameras started flashing. Funny thing – I was speaking specifically about Council’s approval of the Bob Jones project, which is being built in the drainage area for McCarter Creek. Both the print version and the online version of the Greenville News didn’t mention Bob Jones at all. It had been sanitized. Someone else’s quote about the officials "pontificating" was attributed to me. Laura said I came off as beligerant, so I guess they matched that quote with someone they remembered as being mad. I guess I shouldn’t attend these types of meetings with a bad headache.