MEMPHIS, Tenn. — City officials have promised to work on an ongoing issue involving flooding in a Southwest Memphis neighborhood after frustrated neighbors called the WREG Problem Solvers.
Candy Banks said she was tired of seeing puddles on her street when it wasn’t raining.
“Just as you seen that truck go by, that’s what happens all the time. The water splashes,” Banks said.
Neighbors said the water is coming up from under Gemstone Way and flooding their area, including the road and yards. One person told us she had water coming into her home.
The street and sidewalks were damp and covered in algae — so much so, a homeowner had to block off a section with caution tape.
“It’s slimy. It’s laying there. You don’t want anybody to fall,” Banks said.
The people living on Gemstone Way said they’d tried to get help. Crews came out and drilled holes in the road but never followed up.
“I’ve contacted MLGW. They came up. It’s not their problem,” Banks said. “After contacting them, we contacted the city. The city came out. It’s not their problem. A pipe’s not busted. Well, it’s somebody’s problem.”
“Somebody needs to come out and give us an answer,” said Robert Sheard, vice president of the Gemstone Community Homeowners Association.
They called the WREG Problem Solvers and we asked both MLGW and Memphis public works about the situation.
MLGW said the leak was from a natural spring and they wouldn’t do anything more.
Memphis officials referred us back to MLGW until we asked again about what public works would do about the flooding road. Then they said the city would start investigating.
Memphis director of public works Robert Knecht then offered to do an interview with the Problem Solvers about the city’s plan of action.
He didn’t realize the scope of the issue until the Problem Solvers brought it to his attention.
“I haven’t seen anything noticeable in photos or anything to show there’s a noticeable depression forming in the asphalt,” he said.
We showed him the images we took showing what looks like a part of the street sinking.
“Given that, we’re going to have to open up the street and dig down and see if there’s something that needs to be corrected by either inducing or rebuilding that road section,” Knecht said.
Days after our interview, neighbors sent us pictures showing how city crews had come out to start looking under the road.
They say crews located so much water under the pavement, they compared it to a river.
“We need solutions to the problems were having up here. It’s a shame to destroy such a beautiful area,” Banks said.
The Problem Solvers asked Knecht if a solution was in sight.
“Oh yes, based on those determinations. I see at a minimum us rebuilding the roadway,” Knecht said.
For the people who live in Gemstone, they’re finally hopeful. It’s a promising beginning of the end of a decade-long challenge.