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Soggy Ground

Consultants talk to Midtowners about flooding.

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Residents who live near Midtown's Lick Creek will tell you: When it comes to solving the long history of flooding that has plagued the area, there's a lot of ground to cover.

More than 250 residents converged on Snowden Elementary's cafeteria last week to meet with Memphis city councilman Jim Strickland, Mayor A C Wharton, and representatives of TetraTech, the company responsible for making the latest recommendations to the storm-water management plan for Lick Creek.

Atlanta-based TetraTech was hired after Strickland proposed a resolution in August to hire outside engineers to study the storm-water detention system. The more recent recommendations to solve flooding in the area were made in 2006. Since then, several detention areas have been proposed, with the the largest — and most controversial — involving the greensward of Overton Park.

Last week's meeting was the first step in a reassessment of the plan. Community members moved between six booths manned by TetraTech representatives, each set up to explain a different part of the process. Information included the history of the flooding, the previous studies and recommendations for alleviating it, proposed and completed projects, and objectives for a new- hopefully improved-solution.

Residents also could submit flooding reports by writing or speaking to a transcriber, and a TetraTech employee was on hand to plot their homes on a Google map that contains the details of each resident's flooding problems.

"Just talking to people, there were complaints of Lick Creek flooding all throughout Midtown," Strickland said. "TetraTech will continue to use that data as part of their overall effort to draft a recommendation, and hopefully this report will be the first step in solving all those problems."

TetraTech is expected to submit recommendations to the city within 90 days. Strickland is hopeful that bringing fresh eyes to the problem will help create a better solution.

"I think it's very important that Overton Park not be adversely affected by these flooding solutions," Strickland said, "and I think that's going to be a challenge for the engineers."

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