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Heavy vegetation around Palermo drainage ditch causes flooding

People in one Palermo neighborhood are dealing with heavy vegetation and rain, increasing flooding in the area due to a drainage ditch.

Posted: Sep 13, 2019 10:45 AM
Updated: Sep 13, 2019 10:46 AM

When a drainage ditch is combined with heavy vegetation and rain, flooding begins to become an issue. That's what people in one Palermo neighborhood are dealing with.

Action News Now's Christina Vitale took a look into the problem.

This is just one of the many drains in the Palermo area overgrown with vegetation. People said instead of water flowing through it during the rainy season, it overflows, flooding the streets.

"It looked like the pacific ocean out here," one Palermo resident said.

Roger Mathis Palermo resident said, "This ditch should three-foot deep down there if it was cleaned out and so right now as you can see if water comes down through here there's no place for it to go it's just going to come out of the banks onto the road and then onto everybody's property."

Mathis has lived in Palermo for almost 40 years.

"The county will come out and run a brush hog down through here but they don't pick any of it out of there so it just goes down and sits there and so consequently it floods regularly," Mathis said.

Mathis said when it floods, it's bad.

"My entire property probably 80% of it completely underwater," Mathis said.

"I get worked up over everything, I wish I could just throw it aside you know, but I'm worried," Dorthy said.

District One Butte County Supervisor Bill Connelly said the county is thinking about replacing the drainage system.

"They should be concerned if there's a lot of rain it'll probably do what it did last winter and that's localized flooding and we're aware of it," Connelly said. "I've pushed forward every year and I ask staff if there is anything we can do,"

They found $3 million in grants from FEMA and CAL OES.

Connelly said if a ditch is on private property it's up to the owner to clear it.

If it interferes with a natural waterway the owner must get a permit from the Department of Fish and Wildfire.

"The application is proceeding right now again, it'll be voted on in October and the application will go in in November and we'll know by early spring if we're successful," Connelly said.

If you're not sure the ditch in front of your house is on public or private property, Connelly suggests calling public works, making an appointment with them to pull up a map and figure out where the jurisdiction lies. 

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