Most of Hunley’s front lawn and part of his driveway and side yard were underwater Wednesday after heavy rainstorms came through Butler County.
“We’ve got a moat,” he said.
He and his wife, Deloris, built their home in 1987 and said they believe the county is doing what it can to remedy the situation.
“It’s gone down some,” he said of the pooling water. “You couldn’t see the driveway when we got up this morning.”
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The Hunleys are also concerned about how some motorists speed down Millikin Road, even when there is high water covering the pavement. They worry a car will hydroplane, lose control and crash into a tree.
The drainage issue goes back to the 1960s, when it was recommended that no residential housing be built on Millikin Road because of drainage issues, according to Chris Petrocy, spokesman for the Butler County Engineer’s Office.
Water flows from north to south over open land and the natural drainage funnels down to the small portion of Millikin Road. The small culvert is not sized properly and receives more runoff as more homes and neighborhoods have been developed in the area, according to Petrocy.
“It’s a pretty complex problem,” he said.
The problem cannot be solved by putting a larger pipe under Millikin Road because that would channel the water downstream, creating a worse situation for other property owners and neighborhoods, he said. In addition, there is a Duke Energy gas main nearby.
He said the plan is to lower the ground on some of the properties where water naturally funnels down to and create a “basin effect” to keep the water from spilling over to properties across Millikin Road. In addition, a new drainage pipe would be installed under Millikin Road that would slowly drain water from the basin as well as percolate into the ground.
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He said engineer’s office and Liberty Twp. are working on a project to help re-mediate the problem, but that won’t happen until 2018 when the Yankee Road roundabout project starts. Engineers working on the project have nicknamed it “Lake Millikin,” he said.
Dan Lawson and his family live across the road from the Hunleys.
Lawson has lived there for about 13 years and said he’s spent thousands of dollars trying to alleviate the periodic flooding.
“My backyard is underwater when it rains,” he said.
On Wednesday afternoon, Lawson’s driveway and portions of his front yard were underwater.
“They (Butler County officials) keep saying they’re going to do something,” he said. “It costs me money to live with this problem and to have a dry driveway. I’m not going to be happy until they do something.”