A flood-prone East Columbus neighborhood should stay a little dryer after today.
A detention pond the size of a small football field on Lawrence Avenue is expected to be completed to catch rainwater runoff from Poplar Street and the surrounding neighborhood.
The pond, which is depressed more than one foot below a surrounding walking track, isn”t designed to hold the water permanently. Three 18-inch pipes will feed the pond with runoff from Poplar while one 18-inch pipe drains to a network of ditches which run to the Luxapalilla Creek.
City Engineer Kevin Stafford says the depressed field, which will be covered with grass, is designed to drain in a matter of hours and hold enough water to prevent flooding during a 10-year storm.
A 10-year storm refers to the heaviest rains likely to occur in a 10-year period.
The field will be available for football, soccer or other play when dry. It will be seeded Friday and Public Works Director Mike Pratt predicts growth should be evident within a week.
The detention pond has been in the works for two years but has been continually delayed. It was designed to alleviate flooding on both sides of Poplar Street caused by insufficient drainage.
Ward 2 Councilman Joseph Mickens said part of the reason he ran for the Ward 2 seat was to address the flooding and keep up the call for relief. He said at one point his wife wanted the couple to move from their Maple Street home because of the flooding. Mickens and his family are forced to park in their yard during heavy rains, where the ground its highest, which wreaks havoc on his grass.
The water sometimes takes two days to subside.
Mickens is pleased the problem is being addressed but believes more may be necessary.
“We”re hoping and praying (the pond) will be a big relief, but I don”t think it will be a permanent solution. It”s not going to stop the flooding completely but it will cut it down tremendously. At least we”ll be able to get in our houses,” he said.
Jason Browne was previously a reporter for The Dispatch.