Tribune-Courier General Manager
During a community round table hosted by The Friends of Clarks River last week, organizers came with a specific agenda to compile concerns of the community regarding the Chestnut Creek Watershed.
And it didn’t take long for those in attendance to begin voicing their concerns.
Residents living along the Chestnut Creek made it known the hot-button issue on their minds was flooding.
Many in the crowded room at the Lion’s Club Community Center in Draffenville began to share stories of flooded homes, garages, driveways and farmland. The flooding, they say, is directly attributed to Chestnut Creek.
Mary Jane Greenfield, who lives on U.S. Highway 641 on property bordering the creek, said she has been flooded five times since 2006.
“Every other year we are faced with a massive flood of our property and home,” she said.
Greenfield and her husband, Paul, were forced to replace their manufactured home following a flood on Easter Sunday 2011. Most recently their property was flooded twice last month on June 1 and again on June 6 when the creek flowed out of its banks during torrential rainfalls.
Steve Evans, an ecologist with 3rd Rock Consulting of Lexington, said after the meeting his company, as well as local team partners from the USDA, the Marshall County Conservation District, the Jackson Purchase Foundation and Murray State University Watershed Studies, took down the addresses of several homeowners and locations of problematic flooding in an effort to begin the compilation of data necessary to make improvements.
Evans cautioned answers to the problems won’t come quickly, however.
“The process we go through is a two-year process,” he said. “That’s why we wanted to have our first meeting to pinpoint concerns. Now we know without a doubt there are problems with flooding and we can begin to compile the data we collected to see if we can find the causes.”
Chestnut Creek flows into the Clarks River at the Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge north of Benton.
Evans’ company was hired by The Friends of Clarks RIver through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act.