RIVERDALE, Ga. — Clayton County is set to receive millions of dollars in upgrades to address ongoing flooding issues.
Sen. Jon Ossoff visited Riverdale Monday morning and met with residents who have watched flood waters damage and destroy roads, yards, and even homes.
Ossoff said he considers the improvements long overdue for Clayton County families, who are impacted by flooding from severe weather.
Riverdale has been Janet Wheeler's home since 1985.
"Every time it rains, I can't sleep," Janet said. "When we had the flood, it's just like a river or an ocean was opened up."
Janet's house sits up high, but it's still continuously impacted when the creek behind it floods. She said insurance wasn't much help either.
"They didn't cover things like my fence, my shed outside," Janet explained. "I was out of a little less than $10,000."
Ossoff said these issues have been on his radar.
"Clayton County has to have a seat at the table," Ossoff said, "Clayton County has to be a part of the story. Clayton County needs investment. And I don't think that Clayton County has gotten the attention and the investment, and the love that Clayton County deserves."
Ossoff announced $2.6 million in federal funds are being awarded to help prevent flooding in the north end of Clayton County, in the area of the Camp Creek Watershed.
"You're going to see tributaries of the watershed drainage infrastructure, as well as wetland restoration," Ossoff said.
Joseph Wheeler also knows the flooding issue all too well. He is Janet's neighbor. The flood waters ruined his home.
"We had to tear out the walls, the carpet, and everything," Joseph said.
He feels the problem is getting worse.
"The water has seemed to be increasing over the years because we've had flooding, but it never came into our house, but this last round of flooding– it came into the house," Joseph said.
Flood waters hit Clayton County this past August, before that in April and many other times. Joseph and Janet said the funds give them hope.
"I'm sure $2 million won't get it, but it's a start," Joseph explained. "A lot of homeowners had to spit out money from their savings."
Joseph said that planning is what's most important.
"We want the county to make sure that there's a desperate impact study done before the builders are given those permits to build," he said. "We would hope that the county will look at the terrain and understand how the water is flowing, and what will happen if they don't do their due diligence before they build."