City's stormwater service says it received record number of requests

by: Stephanie Coueignoux Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Rain is in the forecast through Wednesday night, and for many Charlotte neighborhoods, that means more flooding. In fact, the city’s stormwater service says because of all the rain this year, it’s received a record number of calls. Their waiting list is now the longest in recent history: 650 service requests.
 
Storm Water Service spokeswoman Jennifer Frost said, “"Our backlog is anywhere between 2 and 4 ½ years depending on the priority."
 
For Leon Vaughn, flooded streets are a way of life in his East Charlotte neighborhood, “The water runs downhill. When it gets to midway of my neighbor's yard, it just stops and when it fills up it comes here.”
 
Vaughn said his backyard has turned into a marsh. His dog doesn’t even want to go outside.
 
The issue Vaughn told  Channel 9 involves the ditches on the side of the roads. They were dug to drain the water, but the problem is the water never drains. When it rains heavily, that water spills over onto the road.
 
The city is now considering a higher storm water fee to give the department a bigger budget. We took a look at how those proposed increases would improve the backlog.

The backlog would go up 90 projects with 0 percent, up by 70 projects with 2.5 percent and up by 10 projects if 5 percent.

The average cost to taxpayers? About 40 cents more per month.
 
“The thing we can say -- we are moving as fast as we can,” Frost said.
 
Frost said service calls tend to come in waves because water systems tend to last 30 to 50 years. They have seen an increase in service requests in the Cotswold and West Charlotte neighborhoods.