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Letters: Waiting Years For Drainage Fix
Ponding at Main & South Water
January 30, 2018

he yards in some of Oriental’s older low-lying neighborhoods often have standing water after a rain or a Nor’easter. Because of poor drainage, parts of some roads also stay submerged long afterward. One of those trouble spots is at South Water & Main. Bill Reid writes that he has long been asking the Town to fix the persistent ponding:
To the Editor:

Surely something can be done about this……the intersection of South Water and Main.

main south water
South Water and Main, where water stands long after a rainfall. (Photo: Bill Reid)

I have lived across the road from this for the past 15 years, and have watched it become progressively worse. Currently there are three different holes and pieces of broken concrete under the surface. The water remains, by the way, long after most of the rest of the town is dry.

Over the years, I have spoken with town commissioners, the town office staff, and most recently with the town manager. When the town asked for citizens to report potholes in their neighborhood, I sent an email. Once or twice, to my knowledge, someone from the town has come by and dumped gravel in the holes. Of course, this has had little effect, and the gravel is soon gone.

For those of us who walk the streets of the “old village” everyday, this situation is a bit of an annoyance and more than a little inconvenient…it’s off into the adjacent lots or back around the block…..and yet my house is only 15 feet away. Visitors to the marina or the Town Dock like to walk around town in the evening. Many, many times I have watched them turn around and go back because the road was impassible.

I grew up in a little North Carolina beach town and I understand flooding, but this does not have to be. Look at what was done where Academy joins Main. An asphalt cap was placed, beginning a few feet back down Academy, and extended into the intersection with Main. This allows the water flowing down Main toward the Duck Pond to flow freely without accumulating at the intersection. Without knowing the price of asphalt, my guess is the problem at Water and Main could be solved for about $500.

How about it, town commissioners?

I know that Oriental has other flooding issues that may cost considerable money to resolve. However, I would suggest that there are things that can be done which are not expensive. Some of you may have noticed a couple of weeks ago that DOT was grading the area along Highway 55 near the middle school where the shoulder and the road join. This was being done to remove the overgrowth of grass along the side of the road that was keeping the water from running off the road. I might suggest that the next time we have a significant rain, the town manager put a couple of town workers in a pickup with flat shovels to remove grass overgrowth where there are significant puddles. We may well see significant improvement in our drainage problem. I would be glad to help.

And one more thing, I hope the Bay River Sewer Authority has not yet paid the contractor who is repairing the sewer system in Oriental. What a mess. I cannot speak to what has occurred underground, but the street repairs are of very poor quality. Is this why my water bill is so high?

Bill Reid Oriental 1/29/18


After reading a recent Letter published in Towndock addressing the street flooding issue I thought it important to also comment. Flooding of the street has also been an issue on Hodges Street, west of Broad Street. It has been a problem for more than a decade.

There is so much water in the street, so often, that I, and my neighbors, have taken to calling the flooding Lake Hodges.

The road repairs described in the previous letter were also used to repair Hodges Street. Gravel & stone dumped into the cavernous holes that is washed out in a few days. To be fair, it seems that town workers have also ‘cleared’ drainage traps and pipes in the street but this too did not solve the flooding.

Town needs to address these flooding issues for real.

Gil Fontes Oriental 1/31/2018

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