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'Nothing we can do to stop the water': South Bibb County neighbors ask for solutions to flooding after heavy rain

The Macon Water Authority has some solutions in place, but it'll be about six months before any more work can happen.

MACON, Ga. — After the storms this week, many areas of Central Georgia are starting to recover.

Some saw wind damage, with trees blowing over and roofs ripped off. Others saw heavy rain, like some in south Bibb County who had major flooding. Folks in the area say that's common, but they want some answers, and a fix. At Thursday's Macon Water Authority meeting, the main question during public comment was, 'Where are we on that project?'

"We find dog toys, footballs," said Mandy Purvis, surveying her yard after the latest round of flooding.

The newest addition was a golf ball. It's all left over from the latest storms to come through south Bibb County.

"We are always fearful that this is gonna be the storm where the water gets in the house," she said.

Severe flooding is nothing new for Purvis. Her yard floods several times a year, whenever it rains hard.

"There used to be some sort of a drainage ditch between our house and our neighbor's that is full now, of silt and mud. And it now just kind of washes through our yard," Purvis said.

The water eventually goes away, but the silt is here to stay, right in the middle of the driveway.

"It cost us about $1,000 to clear the silt pile and stand our fence back up," Purvis explained.

A few weeks later, after another storm, the silt was back. Purvis' patience was gone.

"Any time we even hear a whisper of rain on the forecast, we immediately come and move our cars up the driveway," she said.

Michel Wanna with the Macon Water Authority says it's been an issue in the area for decades.

"We're trying in two years less than two years," he said. "Moving really, speed of light."

Now though, there's a holdup. They're waiting on the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA to sign off on some improvements, like additional drainage ditches, and a new retention pond.

"Three to six months, this is our best estimate. We cannot dictate what the Corps of Engineers will say, or anticipate what they do," Wanna said.

Whatever they do, Purvis hopes it's a permanent fix.

"Just protect your assets. That's what we can do, and that's what we have done. There's just nothing we can do to stop the water," she said.

Purvis says she doesn't live in a flood zone, but had to buy flood insurance this year for extra protection. She hopes there's a solution in place before she has to use it.

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