Olive Branch homeowner says city should pay up for flood damage

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OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. — Some residents of an Olive Branch neighborhood whose homes were damaged by high water in June say the city is responsible for maintaining the drainage and should help pay for damage.

Homeowners are still making repairs after a torrential rainstorm overpowered the city’s drainage system and forced water back into more than a dozen homes.

“I thought I was in a horror movie, like I was waking up out of a dream,” said Gregory Jones, who escaped rising water with his family outside their Olive Branch home on the morning of June 7. “I was just like, ‘I never thought something like that would happen in this neighborhood.'”

Jones, who lives on Wellington Drive, could do nothing as a torrential rainstorm pushed several inches of water into his home.
“I’m talking about the carpet, electrical work, and i had to go in and remove all the floors and remove the sheetrock up to about three to four feet,” he said.

Jones, who doesn’t have flood insurance, has paid out of his own pocket for repairs.

“I had to go into my savings. It was way over $20,000, money I had set up for retirement.”

More than two months later workers are still make repairs to homes, replacing sheetrock, carpet and woodwork.

Jones believes the city of Olive Branch, which maintains the drainage system, should help with the cost of repairing the damage. He says drains weren’t adequately cleaned prior to the storm.

“I was told it was a drainage issue, and it had to be a drainage issue. Because it has rained much worse than it did that particular night and there was no type of floooding like this,” he said.

Jones believes every homeowner affected should be reimbursed for their repairs. He told us he and another neighbor had shared their concerns with Olive Branch Mayor Scott Phillips, and that Phillips was sympathetic.

“But actions speak louder than words,” Jones said. “You can talk a good game, but there’s nothing been done. No ones come around. He said he was going to get back with us but we haven’t heard anything.”

Jones says he’s considering hiring an attorney if the city doesn’t offer assistance.

The same storm system is also responsible for historic flooding in Germantown.

We have reached out to Olive Branch’s mayor for a response to Jones’ concerns and whether the city has any plans to assist homeowners. We have not heard back.

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