BRYANT, Ark. – Neighbors in Bryant say they’ve had enough with flooding issues in the area and are now calling on the City to fix a problem that started nearly six years ago.
Wednesday afternoon, John Bledsoe walked KARK 4 News through his backyard in the Oak Glenn neighborhood, a popular spot for major flooding.
“It’s pretty clear that the channel at a certain flow, is my backyard,” Bledsoe said. “It’s concerning.”
Bledsoe bought his house in the neighborhood about a year ago. At the time he says he didn’t know about the flooding, but that quickly changed after the first big storm.
“I was like ‘Oh my gosh what have I done,’” Bledsoe said. “’Why did I buy this house?’”
Bledsoe showed our crews photos of his yard after a big storm. In them its clear water runs calf deep, covering most of his yard and flowing into the neighborhood streets.
“You wake up in the middle of the night and you walk outside, and your streets are literally covered in water,” Joseph McTyre said.
McTyre also lives in the area and said the fight started back in 2017, just one year after people started moving into the subdivision.
During construction, the city said the neighborhood was not in a flood plain, but that quickly changed with the rising tides.
Bryant City Engineer Ted Taylor showed maps of flood planes in 2012 before construction began and then in 2016, when it was finished. The maps show an increase where the flooding comes into the subdivision.
Taylor said the city recently conducted a study on how to fix the issue in the neighborhood. He said the plan would be to upsize several crossings in the area, costing the city about $3.8 million.
He said on average the city collects $250,000 a year to help with storm water utilities.
“So, you can recognize between the $3.8 million and the $250,000, there’s big gap difference,” Taylor said.
Taylor said to front the cost, the city could also apply for grants and other federal funding, but getting the cash could take some time.
When asked ‘what comes next?’ McTyre responded: “I think that’s something the mayor needs to answer.”
The city said the Glenn Oak neighborhood is on a top priority list for flood management and will be the first fix once they get the funds.